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Full text of "The divine rule of Faith and practice; or, A defence of the Catholic doctrine that Holy Scripture has been, since the times of the Apostles, the sole divine rule of faith and practice to the Church, against the dangerous errors of the authors of the Tracts for the Times and the Romanists, in which also the doctrines of the Apostolical succession, the Eucharistic sacrifice, etc. are fully discussed"

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CImrcI) of (Ciujlanli 
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Founded 1880. 

Frank A. Bevan, Esq. 

John Shrimpton, Esq. 

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Ha?retici, qurnn ex Scripturis arguuntur, in acciisationem convertuntur ipsarnni 
Scripturarum, . . . quia varie suit dictae, et quia non possit ex his inveniri Veritas 
ab his qui nesciaut Traditionein. Non enim per litteras traditain illain, sed per 
vivaui vocem. — Iren^es. 

Qavepa. e/c7rTa>criy niaTecos Kai VTrepr](pavlas KaTrjyopia, rj ddereiv rt tGov 
yeypappevcov, t) imi<rayeiv rwc pj) yeypappevaiv. — Basil. 

AvrdpKfis elaiv ai ciyiai Kai BeorrvevcrToi. ypa<pai Trpbs tijv ttjs dkrjdeias 
cnrayyikiav. — Ath a N a SI US, 

I see not how you differ from that opinion which is the groitnd of all Pa- 
pistry, that is, that all things necessary unto salvation are «o< expressed in the 
Scriptures . . . There is nothing necessary to eternal life which is not both com- 
manded and expressed in the Scripture. I count it expressed, when it is either in 
manifest words contained in Scripture, or thereof gathered by necessary collection. 


We of the Church of England affirm, that the Scriptures contain a complete 
Rule of Faith and Practice, and we reject every doctrine and precept as 
essential to salvation, or to be obeyed as divine, which is not supported by their 
authority. — Bishop Tomline. 















CI)c <3})0£t0ltral gtucce&um, tfjc (Sutfyavtetit £arrtficc, &c. 












The doctrine of the fathers on the subject of this work l — 317 

Principal Contents. 

Section I. 

Preliminary remarks 1 — 8 

Caution necessary 1, 2 

Patristical use of the word " Tradition" 2 — 6 

General observations 6 — 8 

Section II. 

On the Tractators' doctrine of Catholic Consent being a divine in- 
formant, supplementary to, and interpretative of, Scripture 8 — 19 

General remarks 8 — 11 

Testimony of, 

Justin Martyr (fl. a. 140.) 11, 12 

Origen (fl. a. 230.) 12, 13 

Jerome (fl. a. 378.) 13, 14 

Augustine (fl. a. 396.) 14 

Various testimonies 15 — 19 

Section III. 

Whether Scripture is the sole and complete Rule of faith and Judge of 

controversies , 19 — 21 1 

Testimony of 

Ignatius (fl. a. 101.) 19, 20 

Polycarp (fl. a. 108.) 20, 21 

Justin Martyr (fl. a. 140.) 22 

Irenseus (fl. a. 167.) 23—34 

Asterius UrbanUB (fl. a. 188.) 34, 35 

Tertullian (fl. a. 192) 35—44 

Clement of Alexandria (fl. a. 192.) 44—53 

Hippolytus the Martyr (fl. a. 220.) 53, 54 

Origen (fl. a. 230.) 54—60 

Dionysius of Alexandria i fl. a. 211 .) 90 



Cyprian (fl. a. -219.) 60-67 

Lactantius (fl. a. 303.. 67 

Eusebius of Ciosarea (fl. a. 315.) 67—69 

The Council of Nice, or. Nicaea (a. 325.) 69 — 100 

Athanasins (fl. a. 326.1 100—110 

Cyril of Jerusalem (fl. a. 350) 110— 114 

Hilary of Poictiers (fl. a. 354.) 114—120 

Epiphanius (fl. a. 368.) 120—126 

Optatus (fl. a. 368.) 126—128 

Basil of Csesarea (fl. a. 370.) 128— 140 

Gregory of Nyssa (fl. a. 370.) 140—147 

Ephraem Syrus (fl. a. 370.) 147 

Ambrose (fl. a. 374.) 148—150 

Jerome (fl. a. 378.) 150—154 

Theophilus of Alexandria (fl. a. &85.) 154—156 

Kufinus (fl. a. 390.) 157 

Augustine (fl. a. 396.) 157—171 

Chrysostom (fl. a. 398.) 172—181 

Cyril of Alexandria (fl. a. 412.) 181—187 

Isidore of Pelusium (fl. a. 412.) 1S7 

Theodoret (fl. a. 423.) 187—194 

Yincentius of Lirins (fl. a. 434) 194 — 207 

Salvian (fl. a. 440.) 207 

Prosper (fl. a. 444.) 207, 208 

Cosmas Indicopleustes (fl. a. 635.) 208 

Orejrory 'fl. a. 590.) 208—211 

Section IV. 

AVhether Scripture is the sole Divine Rule of practice 211 — 219 

Some of the Fathers distinctly advocate the view that, in oil 
points, Holy Scripture is the sole Divine Rule of practice, as — 

Cyprian (fl. a. 248.) 212 

Firmilian of Csesarea (fl. a 233.) 212, 213 

Socrates the historian (fl. a. 439.) 213 

Language of Gregory of Xyssa observable in this respect 214 

Of those who appear in some parts of their writings to take the 
opposite view, some have elsewhere so modified their testimony 
as to leave it upon the whole but little different to all practical 
purposes from that of the former, as — 

Jerome 'fl. a. 378.) 214. 215 

Augustine (fl. a. 396.) 215—217 

Were the testimony of these Fathers different from what it is, 
our opponents, both Romanists and Tractators, could not con- 
sistently maintain, that such (supposed) Apostolical traditions 
are obligatory on the Church, because they do not themselves 
adopt them all 217—219 

Section V. 

Whether Scripture is sufficiently clear to teach the faith, and how its 
meaning is hest ascertained 219—292 

Testimony of 

■Instin Martyr 'fl. a. 140.) 219—221 

a. 191.) 221—225 

pnilus of Antioch (fl. a. 168.) 226, 226 

Tertnllian (fl.a. 192.) 226—229 

Clement of Alexandria fl 229—232 

n M. a. 280.) 232—287 

Cyprian n 237 



Novatian (fl. a. 251.) 237 

Gregory of Neociesarea (fl. a. 254.) 238 

Lactantius (fl. a. 303.) 238, 239 

Athanasius (fl. a. 326.) 239—243 

Anthony (fl. a. 330.) 243, 244 

Cyril of Jerusalem (fl. a. 350.) 244, 245 

Hilary of Poictiers (fl. a. 354.) 245-251 

Epiphanius (fl. a. 368.) 251—255 

Basil of Ca>sarea (fl. a. 370.) 255—258 

Gregory of Nyssa (fl. a. 370.) 258, 259 

Ephr»m Syrus (fl. a. 370.) 259-261 

Macarius of Egypt (fl. a. 373.) 261 

Ambrose (fl. a. 374.) 261—264 

Jerome (fl. a. 378.) 264, 265 

Theophilus of Alexandria (fl. a. 385.) 265—267 

Augustine (fl. a. 396.) 267—273 

Chrysostom (fl. a. 398.) 274—281 

Cyril of Alexandria (fl. a. 412.) 281—283 

Isidore of Pelusium (fl. a. 412.) 283—285 

Theodoret (fl. a. 423.) 285—290 

Fulgentius of Ruspa (fl. a. 507.) 290, 291 

Gregory (fl. a. 590.) 291, 292 

Section VI. 

Whether Patristical Tradition is the ground upon which our belief in 

the inspiration of Scripture must be founded 292 — 312 

Testimony of 

Justin Martyr (fl. a. 140.) 293—297 

Theophilus of Antioch (fl. a. 168.) 297, 298 

Tatian (fl. a. 172.) ...-. 298, 299 

Tertullian (fl. a. 192.) 299, 300 

Clement of Alexandria (fl. a. 192.) 300—302 

Origen (fl. a. 230.) 302—304 

Lactantius (fl. a. 303.) 304, 305 

Eusebius of Cssarea (fl. a. 315.) 305 

Hilary of Poictiers (fl. a. 354.) 306, 307 

Augustine (fl. a. 396.) 307—311 

Chrysostom (fl. a. 398.) 311—312 

Section VII. 
Concluding remarks 312 — 317 


The doctrine of the Church of England and her princi- 

Principal Contents. 

Preliminary remarks 318 — 323 

Testimony of 
The Church of England (speaking in her authorized docu- 
ments) 338- 

Bishop Jewel :«;!- ;;7'.i 

Hooker :57'.' 

Bishop Morton 392—397 

Bishop Hall 887—402 



Archbishop Loud 402-113 

Jackson 413—434 

Archbishop Usher 434 — 446 

Bishop Jeremy Taylor 446—471 

Bishop Stillingfleet 471—491 

BiahOp Patrick 491—502 

Waterland 502—512 

Bishop VanMildert 513-521 

Remarks on the preceding extracts 521, 522 

Concluding remarks 522 — 524 


General remarks on the whole subject 525—545 

Principal Contents. 

The way in which the proofs, given in the preceding chapters, of the 
groundlessness of the Tractarian system of " Church-Tradition" and 

" Catholic Consent" have been met 525 — 529 

The erroneous views which appear to have led the minds of the Trac- 

tators towards the system they have adopted 529 — 538 

The dangerous results winch flow from the Tractarian doctrine on the 

Rule of faith, beyond the errors more immediately involved in it. . . 538 — 545 

Addenda and Eeeata 546 — 548 

Index of Works cited 549 — 560 

Index of Texts of Scripture cited '. 561 — 564 

Index of matters discussed 565 — 591 



&c. &c. 



In proceeding to review the sentiments of the Fathers on the 
subject of this work, I would offer, in the first place, a few 
general remarks, that may tend to assist the reader in forming 
a right judgment of them. 

It is always difficult to give, by a few brief extracts, any 
correct notion of the full spirit and force of a writer's testimony 
to a point like that before us, in which his views are very much 
shown by the general tone of his remarks, and the whole course 
of his arguments. And it is still more difficult in the present 
case, from the misinterpretation to which the works of the 
Fathers have been subjected from the Romanists and our 

Before I proceed further, therefore, I would caution the 
reader against allowing himself to be misled by sentences 
taken apart from their context, or phrases used in common by 
the Fathers and our opponents, but with a different meaning. 

For instance, it is easy to find, in the works of the v :*' 
as in those of Protestant authors, an appeal to the writers .that 



preceded them, in confirmation of the orthodoxy of the doctrine 
they are inculcating. And these appeals are sometimes most 
incorrectly cited as proofs of their having maintained the 
pseudo-catholic notion that the Fathers are the authorized inter- 
preters of Scripture, and Patristical Tradition a practically 
infallible informant ; whereas it will almost invariably be found, 
when such passages are examined, that the doctrine has been 
placed altogether upon the foundation of Scripture-testimony, 
and the appeal to preceding writers in confirmation of it, made 
only with the view of showing, that such an exposition of 
Scripture was no novelty, but not as if the testimony of a few 
ecclesiastical writers could be taken as an infallible expounder 
of God's word, or per se necessary to the right interpretation of 
it, on account of its imperfection and obscurity. 

Another misinterpretation to which the writings of the 
Fathers have been subjected, (to which we have already al- 
luded 1 ,) and which has been more useful than any other to the 
pseudo-catholic cause, is the perversion of the meaning of the 
word " Tradition," as used by the Fathers. The writings of 
the Romanists in particular abound with citations from the 
Fathers in which the whole force of the passage depends upon 
the meaning of this word, and where an examination of the 
context shows, that it is Scripture to which the writer is re- 
ferring; and thus, not unfrequently, the quotation which 
appears the most forcible to a superficial reader, turns out to 
be not only no evidence of what it is cited to prove, but an 
evidence of precisely the contrary. And, as we have already 
seen, our opponents have followed them in this, so that Mr. 
Newman has actually quoted a passage of Athanasius in defence 
of his views, which is diametrically opposed to them." In the 
former part of this work, I have given several passages in proof 
of what we are here maintaining, namely, that the word " Tra- 
dition" is frequently used in the Fathers in reference to Scrip- 
ture. 3 But as the point is of considerable importance, I will 
here add some further proofs of it, in order to show its constant 
use by them in this sense. 

1 See vol. i. pp. 8, 9; 68, 69; 72—74. 2 Vol. i. pp. 72, 73. 

3 See vol. i. pp. 8, 9; 68, 69; 72—74. 


Thus, Origen says, — " If any arrogant person chooses to 
" slight or despise the declarations of the Apostles, let him look 
" to it himself. I for my part think it right to cleave close, 
" as to God and our Lord Jesus Christ, so also to his Apostles, 
" and to inform myself from the Divine Scriptures according to 
" their oicn tradition." l 

Thus, also, Pope Felix III. says, " Observe, disciples of 
" Christ and my children, the traditions which ye have received 
"from the Divine Scriptures."" 

So Gregory Nyssen (already quoted) says, " It is believed. . . . 
from the tradition of the Scriptures."* 

So Cyril of Jerusalem says, " Hold the traditions which ye now 
receive," 4 where, as his learned editor, Milles, observes, the word 
traditions refers to what he had just set before his hearers from 
the Scriptures. 

So Cyprian (already quoted) frequently speaks of our Lord's 
words recorded in the Gospels, under the name of " the Do- 
minical tradition;"'" and elsewhere, on the question of the 
rebaptization of heretics, exhorts (in similar language to the 
passage above quoted from him) a return to " the Evangelical 
testimony and the Apostolical tradition ," 6 meaning the Gospels 
of the Evangelists and the Epistles of the Apostles. 7 

1 " Si quia vero arrogantia tuinidus Apostolica dicta contemnit aut spernit, 
ipse viderit. Mihi autem, sicut Deo et Domino nostro Jesu Christo, ita et 
Apostolis ejus adhaerere bonum est, et ex Divinis Scripturis secundum ipsorum 
traditionem intelligentiani capere." Oeig. In Levit. horn. 7. § 4. Op. ed. Ben. 
torn. ii. p. 224. 

2 <£uA.a£aTe, Xpicrov fiaBlfTld, 4/j.ou 5e viol, ras irapaSScreis, as Trape\a.Pere airb 
rS>v 6el<av ypacpwv. Felix III. Papa (fl. 483) in Epist. ad Petrum Fullonem 
Ep. Antioch. sub fin. ; Concil. ed. Labb. et Cossart. Paris. 1671. torn. iv. col. 
1069. (ed. Hardouin. ii. 825.) 

3 Xlevicrrevrat Zk re rr/s Koivrjs uiroATj^ecos, koX 4k rrjs tS>v ypa<pSiv irapab'oo'ecos. 
Geeg. Ntss. De anim. et resurr. Op. ed. Paris. 1615. torn. ii. p. G li. 

4 KporetTe ras irapa86<Tfis, &s vvv irapaKaiifiavzTe . Cteill. HlEEOS. Catech. 
5. § 8. Op. ed. Milles. Oxon. 1703. p. 76. See the note of Milles in loc. 

5 " Traditio Dominica." Cypeia>*. Ep. ad Csecil. Ep. 63. Op. ed. Fell. Oxon. 
1782. P. 2. p. 148. 

6 " Quare si rejectis Iranians contentionis erroribus, ad Evangelicam aucto- 
ritatem atque ad Apostolicam traditionem sincera et religiosa fide revertamur, 
intelligenius," &c. Cypeian. Ep. ad Jubaianum, circa med. Ep. 73. Op. ead. ed. 
P. 2. p. 205. 

7 For the use of the word tradition by the Fathers, see also Ieen. Adv. hsr. 

B 2 


The description of the New Testament, occurring in these 
words of Cyprian, was one in very common use with the Fathers. 
Thus, we find the Bible frequently referred to under the title, 
" The Law, the Prophets, the Evangelists, and the Apostles/' as 
by the Author of the Epistle to Diognetus, 1 Hippolytus, 2 Gre- 
gory of Neocsesarea, 3 Cyril of Jerusalem, 4 Epiphanius, 5 Salvian, 6 
and Hilary. 7 So the New Testament is referred to by Origen, 8 
and Ephrsem Syrus, 9 as "the Evangelical and Apostolical say- 
ings," by Hilary as "the Evangelical and Apostolical insti- 
tutes," 10 and similarly by Gregory of Neocsesarea ; n just as in 
the passages formerly referred to it is called " the Evangelical 
and Apostolical traditions." 13 The Gospels are referred to 

lib. iii. c. 21. ed. Mass. p. 216. (c. 25. p. 256. ed. Grab.) Clem. Alex. Strom, 
pp. 806 and 896. ed. Potter. (Paris. 1641, or Col. 1688. pp. 679 and 762) ; Cteill. 
Alex. De recta fide ad Tbeodos. torn. v. P. 2. p. 15. ed. Aubert. ; Okige> t . In 
Matth. torn. x. § 17. Op. ed. Ben. vol. iii. p. 462. 

1 Anon. Epist. ad. Diogn. § 11. Int. Op. Just. Maet. ed. Ben. p. 210. 

2 Tbv v6/j.ov, robs Trpo(pT]Tas, rr]v rwv euayye\ia>v (pdivrjv, robs a.iroo~r6\ovs. 
Hippol. De Antichrist. § 58. Op. ed. Fabric, vol. i. p. 28. 

3 Geegoe. (Thaitmatckg.') In Annunc. Serm. ii. Op. ed. Par. 1622. 
p. 19. 

4 Ovx 'irepov pikv iv No/j.w Kal Tlpcxprjrais, erepov 8e iv H.vayy€\lots Kal 'Attoo~- 
t6\ois, <xAA' ev io~ri Kal rb avrb Tlvevfta ayiov rb iv Ha\aiq Kal Kaivfj Ata6r)Kri 
ras deias Aa\r)ffai> ypa<pds. Cteill. Hieeos. Cat. 17. § 3. Op. ed. Milles. Oxon. 
1703. p. 243. 

5 Ov fj.6vov e'/c rwv EvayyeAiKwv Kal rwv 'AiroaroXiKwv . . . a\\a Kal e/c N^cou 
Kal YIpo<p7iTu>i>. Epiph. Adv. bser. ; bser. 31. § 15. Op. torn. i. pp. 181, 2. — "On 
Qebs els tj/xiv iv 'NS/ Kal iv Tlpo<p7)rais Kal iv EvayyeAiois Kal iv 'AirocrrSXots, iv 
UaXaia Kal Kaivrj AiaBriKT), KCKTipwcrai. Id. ib. Exp. fid. Cath. § 18. Op. torn. i. 
p. 1101. 

6 " Legem, Prophetas, Evangelium et Apostolicas lectiones." Salvias. De 
Gubern. Dei.' lib. iii. ed. Baluz. Paris. 1669. p. 45. 

7 " Dilatis igitur . . . Evangelicis atque Apostolicis prasconiis, omnis in- 
terim nobis de Lege et Propbetis adversus impios pugna sit." Hilae. Pict. De 
Trin. lib. v. § 6. Op. ed. Ben. col. 858. 

8 T&v evayye\iaiv Kal rwv a-Koo-ro\iKSi>v (pwvwv. OBIG. Contr. Cels. lib. iii. 
§ 15. Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. p. 457. 

9 " Diem semper adventus Domini prsedictuni Propbeticis et Evangelicis atque 
Apostolicis vocibus contempleris." Ephe. Ste. De Poenit. Op. ed. Kom. 1732 
et seq. torn. iii. p. 599. 

10 « Evangelicis atque Apostobcis institutis." Hilar. Pict. De Trin. bb. iv. 
§ 1. Op. ed. Ben. col. 827. See also § 5. col. 829, and bb. vi. § 8. col. 882. Also 
Tract, in Psalm. § 23. col. 38. 

11 "Orav avayivuxTKerai rb evayyi\iov, $) avoffroXLKbv, fify irpoffxvs T V /3//8A.y, 
k. t. x. Geeg. Neooes. (Thaujiatueg.) In Annunc. Serm. ii. p. 19. 

13 See vol. i. pp. 72, 73. 


by Theophilus of Antioch and Cornelius as " the evangelical 
voice;" 1 by Epiphanius as "the evangelical witness;" 2 by 
Theodoret as " the evangelical declarations;" 3 by Gregory Nyssen 
as "the evangelical sayings;" 4 "the evangelical teaching/' 5 
"the teaching of the gospel," 6 just as in the passage of Atha- 
nasius already referred to they are called " the evangelical tradi- 
tion." 7 And, in like manner, the Apostolical Epistles are referred 
to by Gregory of Neocsesarea, under the title of " the Apostolical 
teaching." 8 

And hence we may see the meaning of a passage in Epi- 
phanius, (which the Romanists have as usual misrepresented,) 
and add another example to the foregoing as to the use of the 
word " Tradition." Epiphanius, at the close of his work against 
heresies, having noticed many usages that were received in the 
Church, adds, "But as it respects the other mysteries, namely 
" concerning baptism and the more sacred mysteries, they 
" are observed accordiug as the tradition of the Gospel and the 
" Apostles directs ;" 9 where the reference is clearly to the New 
Testament, and an important testimony is afforded us as to the 
source whence Epiphanius considered our instructions for the 
celebration of the sacraments should be derived. 

These passages may serve to put us on our guard against the 
representations of the Romanists and our opponents, as they 
clearly show us, that the Fathers have been grievously mis- 

1 'H evayye\ios <pwv7). Theoph. Antioch. Ad Autol. lib. iii. § 13. Cum 
Op. Just. Mart, ed. Ben. 388. (ed. Col. 1686. p. 126.) " Sequentes evangeli- 
cam vocem dicentem, Beatos esse puros corde, quoniam ipsi Deuin videbunt." 
Cok>-ei. Ep. ad Cypr. ap. Cypr. Epist. 49. ed. Fell. P. 2. p. 93. 

2 'EvayyeKiKTJs fiaprvpias. EPIPHAN'. Adv. ha?r. ; in ha?r. 76. Op. torn. i. 
p. 935. 

3 'Eva.yyeKiK&v Kr)pvy/xa.Twv. Theodoeet. User. Fab. lib. v. c. 22. Op. ed. 
Schulz. torn. iv. p. 452. 

4 Eva.yyz\iKa>i> (paivuv. Geeg. Ntss. Procein. in Cant. Op. ed. 1615. torn. i. 
p. 471. 

5 Trjs euayyeKiKrjs StSac/caAias. Id. ib. p. 473. 

6 Trjs tov evayyeXiov SiSaaKahias. Id. De anim. et resurr. torn. ii. p. 639. 
" See vol. i. pp. 72, 73. 

8 'H &7ro<n-oAiKv/ 5i5ao7caA.ia. Gregob. Neoc^s. (Thacmaturg.) In Annunc. 
Serm. ii. Op. ed. 1622. p. 19. 

9 Th Se aAAa (ivorT-fipia irep\ \ovrpov /cat twv zvSodfv fxvffT-qplcvv, ws ex €J V 
irapdSoffts tov T€ E.vayye\iov ko.1 twv 'Attoo~t6\<0V, ovtuis 4iriTi\t?Tat. Epiph. 
Adv. ha?r. in Expos, fid. cath. § 22. Op. torn. i. pp. 1105, 6. 


quoted, and their meaning often altogether perverted. When 
the Fathers speak of " the Apostolical Tradition/' or " the Tra- 
dition of the Apostles/' they are almost always referring to the 
Scriptures of the Apostles. 

And to this we may add, that when they speak of "the 
Tradition of the Fathers/' they are sometimes referring to some- 
thing which those Fathers gathered from Scripture. For, thus 
speaks Basil ; " That therefore which our fathers said, that also 
" we say. . . . But it is not sufficient for us, that this is the tra- 
" dition of the Fathers j for they also followed the mind of 
" Scripture, taking their first principles from those testimonies 
u which we just now placed before you from the -Scripture." 1 
And to this other instances might be added. 

In short the word tradition is often used, not to denote any- 
thing which has come down by successional delivery from the 
Apostles, but merely as equivalent to the teaching or doctrine 
of the persons referred to. Thus, Polycrates speaks of having 
observed Easter " according to the tradition of my relations/' 2 
where the word " tradition" is translated by Jerome by the word 
teaching or doctrine. 3 There are, indeed, few passages of the 
Fathers in which, considering the sense usually affixed by the 
moderns to the word " traditions," the meaning of irapahoo-eis 
would not be more accurately conveyed by translating it doc- 
trines or instructions. 

I shall now, then, endeavour to show, more particularly, that 
on all the five points in which we have summed up the views of 
our opponents/ the weight of Patristical testimony is incom- 
parably in our favour. I say, the weight of Patristical testimony, 
as I make no pretensions to the consent of all the Fathers on 

1 "Oirep (\f-yov roivvv ol Trarepes ^uup, Kal 7)/J.e7s \iyofxev . . . 'AAA.' ov tovto 
T]fuv i^apKt?, on twv irartpuiv f) irapdSoaiS' Kaxtlvoi yap t<£ fiovKrifiart rrjs Tpa- 
<pr)S riKoXovBrjcav, ck ruv fxaprvpiSiv , as fxiKpy irp6ffdtv vfj.1v e/c ttjs Tpa(p9)S irape- 
difxtQa, Tas apxas Aafiovres. Basil. Cjes. De Sp. S. c. 7. Op. ed. Ben. torn, iii. 
p. 13. 

- Kara irapaSotrtv riiov avyyzvoiv /j.ov. PoLYCB. in ErSEB. Hist. Eccl. v. 21. 
or in Routh. Rcliq. Saer. vol. i. p. 371. (ed. 2a. 1845. vol. 2. p. 15.) 

3 " Secundum doctrinam propinquoruni meoruin." See Rovth. Reliq. 
Sacr. ib. 

4 Which are as follows (as given vol. i. pp. 36, 37) : — 

1. That consentient Patristical Tradition, or " Catholic Consent," is an unwritten 


these or any other points. And I would remind the reader, that 
as to passages in any of those from whom we shall hereafter 
quote, in which, in other parts of their works, they have spoken 
strongly of the value of the testimony of those who preceded them, 
or the necessity of following the doctrine of "the Church," those 
passages must be interpreted in conformity with the views clearly 
expressed in the passages we have cited. Such language depends 
for its meaning upon the principles of the writers, and is quite 
consistent with the maintenance of the Protestant view. All 
writers when engaged in controversy (and most of the Patristical 
writings that remain to us are of a controversial kind) justly avail 
themselves of the testimony of preceding writers in their favor; 
and every man holds, that in fundamental points, it is neces- 
sary to receive the doctrines maintained by what he considers to 
be " the Church." But the question, — What testimony did they 
regard as having authority over the conscience ? — is one which 
cannot be determined by such appeals; and for their answer to this 
question we appeal to the extracts given from them in this chapter. 
And as to any (if there are any of them) that have not always spo- 
ken quite consistently with themselves upon the point, that very 
inconsistency shows, that our opponents' view was not a received 
doctrine of the early Church ; and at least nullifies any state- 
ments they may have made, adverse to us ; not to say, that when 

word of God, a divine informant in religion, and consequently entitled, as to its 
substance, to equal respect with the Holy Scriptures. 

2. That such Tradition is consequently a part of the divinely-revealed Rule of 
faith and practice. 

3. That it is a necessary part of the divine Rule of faith and practice, on ac- 
count of the defectiveness of Scripture, for that 

(1) Though it does not reveal to us any fundamental articles of faith or prac- 
tice not noticed in Scripture, Holy Scripture containing, that is, giving hints or 
notices of, all the fundamental articles of faith and practice, it is yet a necessary 
part of the divine Rule of faith and practice as the interpreter of Scripture, and as 
giving the full development of many points, some of which are fundamental, 
which are hut imperfectly developed in Scripture, and 

(2) It is an important part of that Rule, as conveying to us various important 
divinely-revealed doctrines and rules not contained in Scripture. 

4. That it is a necessary part of the divine Rule of faith and practice, because 
of the obscurity of Scripture even in some of the fundamental articles, which 
makes Scripture insufficient to teach us even the fundamentals of faith and 


5. That it is only by the testimony of Patristical Tradition that we are assured 
of the inspiration of Scripture, what books are canonical, and the genuineness of 
what we receive as such. 


we recollect bow the works of the Fathers have been exposed to 
corruption by those who denied the doctrine for which we con- 
tend, the only wonder is, that so many aud such clear testi- 
monies remain on the subject in our favor. 

And as it respects the general character of their views on the 
subject, it is admitted by Mr. Newman himself, that while, upon 
the supposition of their holding the views he advocates, (which 
he takes it for granted they did,) it is difficult to see, why they 
should not have made " Tradition" a sufficient informant in 
matters of necessary faith, independent of Scripture, yet they 
did not do so j 1 a tolerably clear proof, that he has altogether 
misapprehended the mind of the Fathers. 

Nor, indeed, is it easy to see, why the early Church, if it held 
the views of our opponents, should have been so careful and 
diligent as we find it to have been in multiplying the copies of 
the Scriptures, translating them into all languages, and circu- 
lating them as the Gospel of our salvation. The Divine Scrip- 
ture, Augustine tells us, was diffused far and wide by the various 
translations made of it, that it might become known to the 
nations to their salvation." 


It is obvious that wherever so important a doctrine is held 
as that Scripture is but an obscure and imperfect informant 
even on the highest points of faith, and that our interpretation 
of it must be gathered from the consentient testimony of the 
whole Primitive Church as a practically infallible witness of the 
oral teaching of the Apostles, we may expect it to be brought 
forward in a very direct way, and to occupy a prominent place 
in the instructions of those who maintain it. If, then, the 
Fathers generally had held this doctrine, we should surely not 

1 Newmas's Lect. on Kom. &c. pp. 342, 3. 

3 " Innotcsceret gentibus ad salutem." August. De doctr. Christ, lib. ii. c. 5. 
Op. toiu. iii. col. 21. 


be left to gather it by inferences from passages only indirectly 
bearing upon it, but have had it distinctly placed before us as a 
necessary direction for our guidance. But it is undeniable, that 
the Fathers generally have given us no such direction. If they 
had, we should not have been sent to Vincent, a monk of Lerins, 
as the great authority for this doctrine, but to some earlier and 
more estimable writer ; though, by the way, even Vincent himself 
(as we shall show presently) is not answerable for all that our 
opponents have stretched his rule to mean. 

There are, indeed, (as we have already had occasion to observe,) 
appeals made by Irenseus, Tertullian and Origen, to the consent 
of the Apostolical Churches in favor of certain doctrines; and 
that consent they urge as a sufficient testimony to show that 
those doctrines were preached by the Apostles. How far such 
appeals support our opponents 5 cause, we shall consider, when 
we come to review the statements of those authors under our 
next head, and hope to show, that they are altogether inadequate 
for that purpose. 

Moreover, it is evident, that some of those who lived near the 
times of the Apostles received the reports of individuals as suffi- 
cient testimony of the oral tradition of the Apostles on various 
points. Thus, for instance, we are referred by Irenseus to such 
reports in proof of the apostolicity of the doctrine he advocated 
on the subject of the Millennium. And statements are made by 
others on other points, respecting the oral teaching of the 
Apostles, grounded upon similar testimony. But it was soon 
found, even at that early period, that a ready entrance was thus 
afforded into the Church to errors of all kinds. We have already 
shown, that even the orthodox Fathers were led into error by 
such reports. And the heretics frequently made them the 
foundation of their extravagances. It was on this account, 
indeed, chiefly, namely from the heretics pleading a private 
tradition of this kind in proof of the apostolicity of their errors, 
that the early Fathers appealed to the Tradition of the Aposto- 
lical Churches in support of the orthodox faith. The Fathers 
do not point to this Tradition as anything supplementary to 
Scripture, nor ever give the slightest intimation, that the Scrip- 
ture needs such Tradition as its interpreter, but, on the contrary, 
always refer to Scripture as manifestly and clearly teaching their 


doctrine. They cite that Tradition only as an additional proof 
in favor of the orthodox faith in a few of the most elementary 
points, to those who pretended a " Tradition" from the Apostles, 
coming to them through certain individuals, in favor of their 
errors; and who said (as Irenseus tells us), that without a 
knowledge of that Ti*adition, Scripture could not be rightly 

So thought our opponents' own witnesses Bishop Patrick 1 
and Bishop Taylor. The words of the latter are so well worth 
the consideration of our opponents that I will here subjoin 

" In the first ages of the Church, the Fathers disputing with 
heretics did oftentimes urge against them the constant and 
universal Tradition of the Church; and it was for these 
i*easons — 1. Because the heretics denied the Scriptures .... 
2. The heretics did rely upon this topic for advantage, and 
would be tried by Tradition, as hoping because there were in 
several churches contrary customs, there might be differing 
doctrines, or they might plausibly be pretended ; and there- 
fore the Fathers had reason to urge Tradition, and to wrest it 

from their hands who would fain have used it ill To 

such as these there were but two ways of confutation ; one 
was, which they most insisted upon, that the Holy Scriptures 
were a perfect Rule of faith and manners, and that there was 
no need of any other tradition ; the other, that the tra- 
ditions which they pretended were false ; and that the contrary 
was the doctrine which all the Churches of God did preach 
always. Now thus far Tradition was useful to be pleaded ; 
that is, though the heretics would not admit the doctrine of 
Christianity as it was consigned in Scripture, yet they might 
be convinced that this was the doctrine of Christianity, be- 
cause it was also preached by all bishops and confessed by all 

In the Catholic Church itself that doctrine which in one age 
had been, through such reports, attributed to the Apostles, I 
mean the millennial doctrine of Irenseus and others, was in 
another spoken of as the offspring of ignorance and folly. 

1 See his " Discourse about Tradition." 

3 Jeb. Tavlob's Rule of Consc. ii. 3. 11. Works, (Heber's ed.) xiii. 116. 


It is evident, then, that many at least of the Fathers, even if 
they chose to avail themselves of such reports where they were 
consonant with their own views, did not, in the abstract, regard 
such testimony as of any authority. Nor, indeed, do the Trac- 
tators themselves appear to contend for the authority of " tradi- 
tions " so derived. 

The only testimonies that could be adduced in support of the 
doctrine of our opponents, would be such as declared, that in 
all important points there was a universal consent among all the 
teachers of the Catholic Church, and appealed to such consent 
as a " practically infallible M informant of the oral teaching of 
the Apostles. 

I shall now, then, proceed to point out some passages in 
various of the early Fathers showing, that the doctrine of the 
Tractators was not recognised by them. A more stringent 
proof of this will be found in the positive statements occurring 
under our next head as to the claims of Scripture, but it may 
be desirable first to give a few passages showing, that the notion 
of catholic consent being a divine informant supplementary to 
and interpretative of Scripture, and forming a necessary part of 
the Rule of faith even in the highest points, was altogether un- 
known to them. 1 

Justin Martyr, (fl. a. 140.) 

Can we suppose, for instance, that Justin Martyr held such 
a view, who says, " There are some, I admitted, of our com- 
" munity (ytvovs,) who confess that he [Jesus] is Christ, but 
" affirm that he is a man, born of men ; with whom I do not 
" agree, nor should I even if the great majority of those who 
** are of my own religion should say so, since we are commanded 
" by Christ himself to be ruled by, not the doctrines of men, 

1 The Tractarian Review, already quoted, of the first edition of this work, 
triumphs in the fact that so few citations are given under this head. The reply 
is obvious, namely, first, that it was unnecessary to give many, because the 
positive statements of the Fathers as to the claims of Scripture quoted in the fol- 
lowing sections are a better testimony on the subject ; and, secondly, that we cannot 
expect to find statements in the Fathers formally repudiating a course which 
they never thought of following. 


" but those preached by the blessed Prophets and taught by 
"him/' 1 

Origen. (fl. a. 230.) 

Let us proceed to Origen. We have already noticed the 
Creed which he considered himself able to establish by the con- 
sent of the Apostolical Churches at that time. 2 So much, then, 
we will leave for the present undisputed. But does this em- 
brace all the vital articles of the faith ? No ; for Origen him- 
self was unorthodox as to some of the highest. This Creed, 
as it respects any of the questions now at issue in the Church, 
is practically useless. And as to anything beyond this, Origen 
not only makes no claim for the consent of the various Churches, 
but expressly speaks of it as open ground. And in his reply to 
Celsus he says, " Celsus remarks, that they [i. e. the earliest 
" Christians] were all of one mind ; not observing in this, that 
"from the very beginning there were differences among believers 
" respecting the meaning of the books that were believed to be 
" divine." 3 And further on, accounting for the variety of sects 
among Christians, of which Celsus had complained, he says, 
that this arose " from many of the learned among the heathen 
" being desirous of understanding the Christian faith ; from 
" which it followed, that, from their understanding differently 
" the words which were believed by all to be divine, there arose 
" heresies, taking their names from those who were struck with 
" the first principles of the word, but were somehow moved by 
" some probable reasons to entertain different views of it, one 
" from another." 4 Clearly, then, Origen knew nothing of that 
traditive interpretation of Scripture, delivered by Catholic con- 
sent, which our opponents pretend to find sixteen centuries 
later. And as to the state of the Church in Origen's own time, 

E<(Ti rives, S> (p'iKoi, zXeyov, airh rov r]fj.erfpov yevous 6fj.o\oyovvres avrbv 
XpiffTbv elvai, avdpooirov 8e e'£ avdpJi-nciiv yev6fJLivov a-rro(paii'6ixevoi' oTs ov (TvvtI- 
6ffxai, ovS' &c -KKzlaToi tovto. 8o£daavT€s etiroitv eVeiSJj ovk avOpanreiots St- 
Sayfiacri KfK(\cv<T/j.e6a On' aurov rov XpiffTov ireidtaOai, a\Aa tois Sia tuv [xa- 
Kap'iuv irpo<pi)T(hv KrjpvxOelcrt. ical Si' avrov 5i5ax0e«r(. Just. Mart. Dial, cum 
Tryph. § 48. Op. ed. Ben. pp. 144, 5. (ed. Col. 1686. p. 267.) 

3 Sec vol. i. pp. 216 et seq. 3 See vol. i. pp. 294, 295. 

4 See vol. i. pp. 294, 295. 


he himself tells us, " Many of those who profess to believe in 
" Christ, disagree, not only in small points, and those of no 
" moment, but also in important points, and those of the highest 
" moment." 1 And this difference of opinion existed among 
those who were in the Catholic Church ; for again he says, — 
" I wish that those only who are without the Church were de- 
" ceived ; it would be easy to avoid the seduction. But now 
" they who profess to belong to the Church, are deceived and 
" misled, even on the necessary points : as their dissension is a 
" witness. Since even those who are within the Church are 
" misled .... It is bad to find any one erring in points of 
" morals ; but I think it is much worse to en* in doctrines, and 
" not to hold that doctrine which is agreeable to the most true 

" rule of the Scriptures Every one that is perfect . . . 

" and that has his senses exercised for understanding the 
" truth, will necessarily, in his inquiries, fall in with many doc- 
" trines opposed to one another, and will hear many professing 
u to know the truth, and different traditions respecting it." 2 
What then, I ask, would have been Origen's opinion of the doc- 
trine of our opponents, that there was universal consent among 
all the teachers of the Catholic Church, in all the important 
doctrines of Christianity, for the first four or five centimes ? 

Jerome, (fl. a. 378.) 

Again, what is the testimony of Jerome ? " While," saith he, 
" the blood of Christ was yet but recently shed in Judsea, it was 
" maintained that the Lord's body was but an appearance," &c. 
And after enumerating several cases of error, he points out, as 
other instances, that " To the angel of Ephesus there is imputed 
" the loss of love. In the angel of the Church of Pergamos the 
" eating of things offered to idols, and the doctrine of the Ni- 
" colaitans, are blamed;" &c., 3 showing that he held, that there 
were many, even at that time, in the nominal Catholic Church, 
involved in serious error. And as to any notion that he could 
have maintained the doctrine of our opponents as to the truth 
being supported by the catholic consent of the writers of 

1 See vol. i. p. 216. 2 See vol. i. p. 407. 

» See vol. i. pp. 406, 407. 


the preceding ages, it is summarily overthrown by his language 
respecting the testimony of those writers on the great question 
that formed the subject of the Arian controversy. He admits 
fully, that their works contain erroneous statements ; and when 
asked how he accounts for it, he replies, — "It maybe that 
" they merely erred, or wrote with another meaning, or their 
rt writings were gradually corrupted by unskilful copyists ; or 
fC certainly before that that meridian dsemon, Arius, arose in 
" Alexandria, they may have spoken some things innocently and 
" incautiously, and that cannot escape the calumny of perverse 
" men." 1 He, then, who wrote thus, could not have supposed 
that the Catholic Consent of these writers formed part of the 
Rule of faith. 

Augustine, (fi. a. 396.) 

Let us pass on to Augustine. Having stated that to the 
Scriptures alone he had learned to give such honour as to sup- 
pose the writers of them certainly inerrable, he adds, respecting 
all other authors, — " But others, however distinguished they 
" may be for holiness and learning, I so read as not to think 
" anything true, because they thought it to be so, but because 
" they are able to persuade me, either by those canonical au- 
" thors, or by some probable reason, that it is agreeable to the 
" truth." 3 Now these words are quite irreconcileable with the 
notion that Augustine supposed the cod sent of those writers 
formed part of the Rule of faith, and was a practically infal- 
lible informant of the oral Tradition of the Apostles. 

And, as we have already shown, 3 we find the Fathers of the 
Nicene and subsequent ages frequently blaming earlier Fathers 
of the Catholic Church for unorthodox statements. 

Here, then, however strongly the Fathers may sometimes find 
it convenient to speak of the testimony of writers that preceded 
them, we have at least sufficient evidence, that no such doctrine as 
that of our opponents — that the Catholic Consent of all the 
teachers of the Primitive Church forms part of the Rule of 
faith — was maintained by the early Church. 

1 See vol. i. p. 351. 2 See vol. i. p. 268. 

3 Vol. i. pp. 265 et seq. See, also, p. 234. 


We are far, indeed, from denying, that the Fathers were in 
the habit of appealing to those who had preceded them in con- 
firmation of the correctness of their doctrines. Such appeals we 
ourselves make. Nay, some evidence of the kind might fairly 
be required by us for doctrines proposed to us as fundamental, 
not from any obscurity or insufficiency in the Scripture-proof, 
but from its being impossible to suppose that all who pre- 
ceded us were in error in fundamentals. But unless we can show 
real catholic consent, the testimony of a few witnesses on the 
subject is anything but infallible. Now such catholic consent 
the Fathers generally did not pretend to claim. Nor conse- 
quently did they put forward the Patristical testimonies to which 
they referred as any divine informant, or authoritative witness, or 
practically infallible record of the oral teaching of the Apostles. 

A remarkable passage in proof of this occurs in a fragment of 
a work called " the little Labyrinth," generally attributed to 
Caius, and written in the early part of the third century, against 
the heresy of Artemon. In this passage, which we have given 
at length in a preceding page, 1 it is said, — " the heretics say, that 
" all the antients and the Apostles themselves both received and 
" taught those things which they now affirm, and that the truth 
" of the Gospel was preserved until the times of Victor, who was 
" the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter ; but that from the 
" time of his successor, Zephyrinus, the truth was adulterated. 
" And the remark would perhaps be probable, but for that, first, 
" the Divine Scriptures opposed them, and that there are writings 
" of certain brethren older than the times of Victor, which they 
" wrote against the heathen in defence of the truth, and against 
" the heresies of that time .... How, therefore, is it possible, that 
" when the doctrine received by the Church was preached so many 
" years ago, all up to the time of Victor should have preached 
" such doctrine as they say V 

Now here (as we have already observed) the claim of the 
heretics, that their doctrine was held and preached by the 
Apostles and all their earliest followers, is denied, first, because 
the Divine Scriptures delivered a different doctrine, and secondlv, 
because some of the earliest followers of the Apostles had left 
1 See vol. i. pp. 225, 226. 


writings in which the contrary was maintained. In a word, the 
preposterous claim to Catholic Consent, or the everybody-always- 
every-where-agreed-with-me argument, is left with the heretics, 
who, as we here see, could even then venture to make use of it ; 
and heresy is refuted first by Scripture, and then Antiquity is 
appealed to in confirmation, to show that what is considered the 
orthodox doctrine, the correct interpretation of Scripture, is no 
novelty, but has been held by many from the earliest times. 

Further, that our opponents' doctrine on this subject was no 
received doctrine of the Church, is evident from the account 
given us by Socrates 1 of the proceedings at the Council of Con- 
stantinople in 381. For there we find the person put forward 
by the orthodox party as their champion, advising them, as a 
matter of prudence, and an expedient method of dealing with 
the heretics, to appeal to the writings of the Fathers, and make 
them the Judge of the controversy in hand. And the way in 
which this proposition was received by Nectarius, the bishop of 
Constantinople, and the Emperor, shows that the notion, so far 
from being a received doctrine of the Church, had not before 
occurred to them. 

Moreover, when the appeal is made by the Fathers to those 
that preceded them, we find no claim made to the universal 
consent of all the teachers of the Catholic Church. The state- 
ments of the Fathers above quoted show us, how inconsistent and 
untenable such a claim would have been, when there is hardly a 
Father who does not, more or less, find fault with some of those 
who had preceded him, as involved in some error. Their appeal 
was made to those whom they considered most worthy of being 
followed. And if in the heat of controversy they may have 
sometimes used words that seem to have a wider scope, those 
words must be interpreted with a recollection of their own ad- 
missions elsewhere. 

Let us observe in what way Augustine introduces his reference 
to the Fathers in the Pelagian controversy. After having refuted 
the Pelagian errors by the testimony of Scripture, he pro- 
ceeds to say, — " But, since they say, that their enemies have 
" adopted our language from hatred to the truth, &c. . . . when 

1 Soceat. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c 10. 


" rather the Church of Christ, both of the West and the East, 
" has been horror-struck at their profane and novel language ; 
" I think it concerns us, not only to produce the testimony of 
" the sacred canonical Scriptures against them, which we have 
" already sufficiently done, but also to bring forward some testi- 
" monies from the writings of the saints who before our time 
" have, with very great honour and renown, expounded those 
" Scriptures ; not that the authority of any disputant is put by 
" us on a level with the canonical books, just as it cannot be, 
" that the opinion of one catholic is better or more true than that 
" of another catholic, but that those who think that such persons 
" have some ground for what they say, may be admonished, how 
" on these points, before the Pelagians introduced their new and 
" foolish phrases, catholic prelates followed the divine decldra- 
" tions, and may know that the true and antiently established 
" catholic faith is defended by us against the new presumption 
" and destructive error of the Pelagian heretics." 1 And he then 
proceeds to quote Cyprian and others in defence of his doctrines. 
Now this language, as the reader will have observed, is altogether 
different from that of our opponents. 

In short, the mode of arguing adopted by the Fathers was 
like that of the Church of England. They said, The Scripture 
clearly affirms such and such a doctrine, therefore it is the or- 
thodox faith. But to those who denied the correctness of their 
interpretation of Scripture, they urged this argument, among 
others, to show that it was the true one, namely, that such and 
such catholic Fathers had maintained it, and therefore that it 

1 " Sed quoniam dicunt, Inimicos suos dicta nostra in veritatis odium susce- 

pisse, &c cum potius eorum profanas vociun novitates Ecclesia Clu'isti 

et occidentals et orientals horruerit; ad curam nostram existimo pertinere, 
non solum Scripturas sanctas canonicas adversus eos testes adhibere, quod jam 
satis fecimus, verum etiam de sanctorum litteris, qui eas ante nos fama cele- 
berrima et ingenti gloria tractaverunt, aliqua documenta proferre ; non quo ca- 
nonicis libris a nobis ullius disputatoris a?quctur auctoritas, fcamquam omnino non 
sit, quod melius seu verius ab aliquo catholico quam ab alio itidem catliolico 
sentiatur, sed ut admoncantur, qui putant istos aliquid diccre, queinadmoduni 
de his rebus ante nova istorum vaniloquia catbolici antistites eloquia divina 
secuti sintj et sciant a nobis rectam et antiquitus fundatam catholicanl iidem 
adversus recentem Pelagianorum hacreticoruui iirasunttionem perniciemquc 
defendi." August. Contr. duaw cpist. Pelag, lib. iv. C, 8. Op. ed. Ben. torn. x. 
col. 480. 



was a doctrine that had been all along held in the Catholic 
Church. And they probably held, that, in vital points, a doc- 
trine opposed to the teaching of all the remaining testimonies 
of the doctors of the earlier Church could hardly be true, and 
that the absence of all testimony in favor of a doctrine of any 
moment formed ordinarily a strong argument against it ; and 
therefore they referred to Patristical Tradition in support of the 
doctrines they advocated on such points ; though even here the 
remarks of Basil upon the silence of the preceding Fathers on 
the doctrine of the divinity of the Holy Ghost, 1 show, that the 
existence of an absolute testimony in favor of such doctrines 
was not always esteemed essential. But as it respects such a 
" catholic consent" as our opponents talk of, and the uses to be 
made of it, they evidently recognised nothing of the kind ; still 
less did they dream of there being any such Patristical testimony 
as could be proposed to all as a divine informant. In fact, many 
of them have expressly declared, directly or indirectly, (as we shall 
see in the next section,) that the only divine revelation we possess 
is that contained in the Scriptures. 

The Fathers might say, as we should now, Such and such is 
the faith of the Church in fundamental points, and he who does 
not embrace that faith is in fundamental error. But this is not 
putting forward the dictum of that which we choose to call 
" the Church/' as the ground upon which such doctrines are to 
be believed. It is merely an expression of our views, a bearing- 
witness to what we hold to be the true Church aud the true 
faith. And such alone is the character of the teaching which it 
becomes the Church on earth to offer. She is a witness for the 
truth. But never ought she to forget, that the treasure of the 
Gospel has been committed to earthen vessels, to those who 
are encompassed with infirmity, and that her delivery of the 
message is subject to all the drawbacks upon its authority to 
which the imperfection of a frail and fallible messenger renders 
it justly liable. 

The truth of this is more especially apparent, when we recol- 
lect, that « the Church " cannot teach as " the Church/' but 
only through the agency of individuals. There is scarcely any- 
thing extant which can be called the teaching of " the Catholic 

1 Sec vol. i. pp. 233, 234. 


Church ; " nothing, indeed, that in strictness of speech is entitled 
to that character. Because the Catholic Church cannot be re- 
presented. Its suffrages never were and never could be collected 
on any one point. The utmost that was ever accomplished was 
a probable representation of the sentiments of the majority. 
The teaching of the Church, therefore, is practically the teaching 
of individuals belonging to the Church ; and how uncertain it 
is what that teaching may be, even where definite articles of belief 
on all the important points of the Christian religion have been 
voluntarily signed, has been proved to demonstration by the writ- 
ings of our opponents themselves. 



In considering the testimony of the Fathers upon this subject, 
wc need not fear to begin with some of the earliest ; though it is 
obvious, that their language respecting it cannot be expected to be 
identical with that which they themselves ivould have used at the 
present day. The immediate disciples of the Apostles, for in- 
stance, may be expected to refer to the oral teaching of the 
Apostles, which to them was as authoritative, as much the word 
of God, as their writings ; especially when we consider, that the 
Scriptures had not then been circulated, in a collected form, 
through the Church. 1 But, consequently, any notices from 
them, tending to confirm the view which we here advocate, are 
proportionably forcible. 

Let us observe, then, the following passage of 

Ignatius, (fl. a. 101.) 

In his Epistle to the Philadelphians, written at the com- 
mencement of the second century, he says, — 

1 Hence, for instance, Ignatius, of course, considered the instructions given to the 
Churches in his Letters as conveying the tradition of the Apostles ; and as Eusebius 
Says, TrpovTpene re airpl^ t^tcrdai tt}s to>v 'Atto(Tt6k<i>v Trapq,56(retiis, $jv virip 
ua(pa\elas Kcd e'77pa<pais i}8r] fiaprvpSixevos SiarwrrovaOai avaryKOUOv 7ryeiTO. El BEB 
Hist. Eccl. iii. 3G. ed. Beading, p. 131. But by such reports of Apostolical teach- 
ing, given by individuals, our opponents themselves would refuse to he bound. 

c 2 


" I exhort you that you do nothing out of strife, but accord- 
a ing to the instruction of Christ ; because I have heard of some 
" who say, Unless I find it written in the originals, I will not 
" believe it to be written in the Gospel. And when I said, It is 
" written, they answered what lay before them in their corrupted 
" copies." (§ 8. Wake's transl.) 1 

Even at this early period, then, and in the presence of those who 
were the immediate disciples of the Apostles, the great question 
as to any disputed point was, Is it written ? For, the animad- 
version upon those here alluded to, is not on the ground of their 
reference to Scripture, but of their cavilling at well-authenticated 
copies, and refusing to yield to anything but the Apostolical 

From Ignatius, let us pass on to 

Polycarp. (fl. a. 108.) 

In his Epistle to the Philippians, written in the year 116 or 
117, we meet with the following passages : "These things, my 
" brethren, I took not the liberty of myself to write unto you 
" concerning righteousness, but you yourselves before encouraged 

1 Hapa.Ka.Au! 5e v/xas /urjSe^ Kar' cpiOeiav trpdaaeiv, aAAa Kara Xpi(TTO/j.a9iav 
iirel TjKoucra. rtvccv Aeyovroov, oti iav fij) eV toTs apxalois evpce, iv rw evayyeAica ov 
■rnffTevw Ka\ Acyovros fxov ai/Tots, '6ti yeypawTai, aireKpldrjcrdv p.01, oti irpoKenai. 
'E/xol 8e apx^d taTiv 'Irjcrovs XpicrrSs, ra. &8r)KTa (adiKTa) apx^a o aravphs ai/TOv 
koI 6 Odvaros, k. t. A. Igxat. Epist. ad Philadelph. § 8. Int. Pate. Apost. cd. 
Cotel. 1724. torn. ii. p. 32. The evident correspondence of the word apxaiois to the 
word apxeta, occurring twice in the latter part of this passage, has caused Yossius. 
Cotelerius, Smith, and others to suppose, that apxeiois is the true reading ; and this is 
the reading in the interpolated copy of these Epistles. The word apxaiois however 
may have the same meaning, for we are told in the lexicon of Suidas that the 
word is written both ways, — 'Ap%e?a . . . . rj apxaia, as "EtvcxpSiv 'laropiiov H'. 
And Cotelerius says, " 'Apxatof pro apx^op archivvm legitur in Athenajo, Pol- 
luce, Suida et Josepho." There is as little reason, therefore, against translating 
both by the word archivum, as by the word antiquus ; the evident correspondence 
of the words clearly showing an identity in their intended signification, and the 
sense of the sentence appears to me to forbid the latter. I confess, however, I do 
not feel satisfied with the above translation of oti irpoKfirat, nor with any which 
I have yet seen proposed. An account of the various modes of rendering this 
passage may be seen in the notes of Dr. Jacobson's edition of the Pat res Aposto- 
lus. I should be inclined to translate the passage thus, — " And when 1 said. It 
»';>• written, they answered me, It is set forth thus;" (or, It is in the copies before, 
ux thus ;) — meaning that it was thus set forth in the common copies, but that it 
might not be so in the originals: and therefore that they would not allow the 
emphatic word 7<e'7pa7rTai to be used respecting it, till they had seen it in the 


" mc to it ; for neither can I, nor any other such as I am, come 
" up to the wisdom of the blessed and renowned Paul, who 
" being himself in person with those who then lived, did, with 
" all exactness and soundness, teach the word of truth, and being 
" gone from you, wrote an Epistle to you, into which if you look, 
" you will be able to edify yourselves in the faith that has been 
" delivered unto you, which is the mother of us all." (§ 3. Wake's 
transl.) 1 

Again ; " Whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his 
" own lusts, and says that there shall neither be any resur- 
" rection nor judgment, he is the firstborn of Satan. Where- 
" fore, leaving the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let 
" us return to the word that was delivered to us from the beginning • 
" watching unto prayer, [1 Pet. 4. 7,] and persevering in fast- 
" ing; with supplication, beseeching the all-seeing God not to 
" lead us into temptation [Matt. 6. 13]; as the Lord hath said, 
" The Spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak. [Matt. 
" 26. 41.] " 2 (§ 7. Wake's transl.) 

And again; " For I trust that ye are well exercised in the 
Holy Scriptures, and nothing is hid from you." (§ 12.) 3 

These passages are worth observing, as showing how, even at 
that early period, when the oral teaching of the Apostles might 
properly be, and no doubt was, referred to by their immediate 
disciples, the Scriptures were considered the authoritative expo- 
nents of the faith. 

1 Tavra, aStArpol, ovk tfxavTy iirtTptyas, ypdcpai vfuv ewl Trjs SiKawavvrfS' &A.A.' 
eVel vfxils TrpofTTiKaAeaacrde fxe. Ovre yap eyw, ovTe aWos Ofxoios ifJ-ol Svvarai 
KaraKoAovOrjcrai ttj o~o<pia tov fxaKapiov Kal ivSo^ov TlavAov bs yevSfxivos iv 
Kara. TrpSauirov tusv tot€ avdpuircov, iSiSa^ev aKpifSws Kal /3e/3ai'a>s rhv ntpl &A77- 
Qeias \6yov bs Kal airwv vfxiv typatytv £ino~To\as, els as eav eyKvnTT\Te, Swrfd^' 
<re<T0e oiKoSo/xe?ff8at els t^jv SoOeltrav vfj.1v tt'kttlv, ^ris ierrl fJ.i\Tt\p irdvTccv vfx£>v. 
Polycaep. Ep. ad Philipp. § 3. Inter Pate. Apost. ed. Cotel. 1724. vol. ii. 
p. 187. 

" Os av fj.(6o8evr) to \6yta tov Kvpiov Trpbs rds ISias emdvfxias, Kal \eyrj fjA\re 
ava<TTao~tv, fxijTe Kpiffiv elvai, ovtos ttpwt6tok6s £o~t'i tov 'S.aTava. Ai2> airoAt- 
ir<Wey ttiv fxaTaiirr\Ta tuiv ttoWwv, Kal ras \pevb~oStoao-Ka\ias , iirl tov e| apxrjs irapaboQevTa \6yov iTnaTpexf/aifiev, vr)<povTts irpbs Tas evxas, Kal irpoo~KapTf- 
povvres vrjCTtiais, 8er)o~ecriv alrovfxevoi tov TravTeir6irT7)v Qebv, fir) elaeveyKelv 
els ireipafffJ-bv, KaBws elirev 6 Kvpws- Tb fj.ev irvevfxa irpoQvfJ.ov, if 8e cap| acrOtvifs. 
Id. ib. § 7. ed. cad. vol. ii. pp. 188, 9. 

3 " Confido enim vos bene exercitatos esse in sacris litteris ; et nihil vos latet." 
Ij>. ib. § 12. ed. ead. vol. ii. p. 191. 


Jostin Martyr, (fl. a. 140.) 

I proceed to Justin Martyr, of whom we may observe, first, 
that in his conference with Trypho the Jew, he makes it a rule 
to ground all his statements upon Scripture, and Scripture 
only j 1 and exhorts Trypho to despise the tradition of his Jewish 
teachers, as under that name they palmed their own fancies upon 
the world. 2 As these remarks, however, apply only to Jewish 
traditions, and not to those of the Christian Church, (though it 
is hard to see why one should be secure from error, though the 
others were not,) I shall not press them as evidence on our 
present subject. 

Again, in a passage just quoted, he says, — alluding to a 
heterodox doctrine prevailing among some professed Christians 
at the time, — " With whom I do not agree, nor could agree, 
" even though the great majority of those who are of my own 
" religion should say so ; since we are commanded by Christ 
' himself to be ruled by not the doctrines of men, but those 
" preached by the blessed prophets, and taught by him/' 

Further, as to the question of the fulness of the revelation 
made in the Scriptures, we may observe the following passages. 
— " Those," saith he, " who have left us a relation of all things 
that concern our Saviour Jesus Christ have thus taught us." 3 
Again ; " Neither did God ask Adam where he was, as one who 
" knew not, nor Cain where Abel was ; but for the purpose of 
" convincing each of them what he was, and that the knowledge 
•' of all things might be conveyed to us bij their being committed to 
" writing."*" 

1 Kdyw, eireiS)) air6 re rwv ypa<pa>v Kal rSiv irpay/j.drwi', rds re awoSei^eis Kal 
ras 6jU.iA.ias 7roioCjuai, t\eyov, yuT? uireprideaOe, /x7)5f Siard^ere iriorevcrai t<£> ctare- 
piT,uTJT¥ ifwl. Jtstix. Mart. Dial, cum Tryph. § 28. Op. cd. Bened. Paris. 
17 12. p. 126. (Ed. Colon. 1686. p. 245.) 

s "Eti Kal irapaSo^orepovs SoKowras &A\ovs \6yovs aKovaere' p^ rapdo~o~eo~Qe 
8e, aWa. fiaXXov irpodvp.6repoi yev6p.evoi aKpoaraX Kal e^eraaral /xevere, tcarcuppo- 
vovvres Trjs irapa8oo"ea>s roiv vfxerepuv SiSaaKaKcuf eirel oil ra 610 rod &eov inrb 
toO irpo<p7jriKov Tlvevpiaros eXeyxovrai voelv Swafxevot, aWa. to iSia fiaWov 81- 
Sd(TKeiv irpompovfievot. Id. ib. § 38. p. 135. (Ed. Col. p. 256.) 

3 'Hs of anop-vriLiovevaavres txdvra ra irepl rov SasTTjpos r\p.S)v \t\aov Xptarov 
tiibaiav. Td. Apolog. Prim. § 33. p. 64 (Ed. Col. Apolog. Sec. p. 75.) 

* Oi'Sc Tip 0cu> «is bvoiav "f\v rb ipwrav rbv 'ASct/u, ttov tarlv, oiiSe rbv KaiV, 


IrenjEUs (fl. a. 167.) 

We now come to an author who is very confidently appealed 
to, both by the Romauists and our opponents, as a supporter of 
their views, viz., Irenseus. The claim is made upon the authority 
of one or two passages, which need only to be compared with 
other parts of the work in which they occur, to show that they 
afford no support to the views in defence of which they are 

" By no others," says Irenzeus, " have we come to the kuoW- 
" ledge of the plan of our salvation, but those through whom 
" the Gospel came to us, which they then preached, but after- 
" wards, by the will of God, delivered to us in the Scriptures to 

mony which one might suppose would be sufficient of itself to 
settle the question. But it stands not alone. 

After having spoken of the witness borne by Scripture to the 
truth of his doctrine respecting God, he says, — " Having, there- 
" fore, the truth itself as our rule, and the testimony respecting 
" God placed clearly before us, we ought not to cast away the 
" firm and true knowledge of God," &c. 2 

And again ; — " But we, following the one only true God as 
" our teacher, and taking his words as our rule of truth, always 
" teach the same all of us on the same points." 3 

And again ; — " Therefore the disciple of the Lord, wishing 
" to proscribe all such things, and to constitute a rule of truth 

ttou 'AfieA; a\A' els rh iKaarov e'A.€7|ai 6no7os iari, Kalfls ripcis t^v yvGiaiv -nav- 
twi/ Sia toC avaypa<privai ihQeiv. Id. Dialog, cuni Tryph. § 99. p. 195. (Ed. 
Col. p. 326.) 

1 " Non eiiim per alios dispositioneni salutis nostra; coguoviinus, quani per eos 
per quos Evangeliimi pervenit ad nos : quod quidem tunc praeconaverunt, 
poetea vero per Dei voluntatem in Scripturis nobis tradiderunt, fimdamentuni 
et columnam fidei nostras futurum." Iben^I Adv. H&^r. lib. iii. c. 1. Op. ed. 
Massuet. Paris. 1710. p. 173. (ed. Grab. Oxon. 1702. iii. 1. p. 198.) 

2 " Habentes itaque regulam ipsam veritatem, et in aperto positum de Deo 
testimonium, non debemus per qua-stionum deelinantes in alias atque alias ab- 
solutions ejicere fii-mam et veram de Deo scientiam." Id. ib. ii. 28. p. 156. 
(ii. 17. p. 173.) 

3 " Nos autem unum et solum veram Deum doctorem sequentes, et regulam 
veritatis habentes ejus sermones, de iisdem semper eadem dicimus oinnes." Id, 
ib. iv. 35. p. 277. (iv. 69. p. 368.) 


" in the Church .... thus commenced the doctrine taught 
" in his Gospel, — c In the beginning was the Word, and the 
" Word/ " &C. 1 

And when, after having in his first and second books explained 
and shown the absurdity of the doctrines of the heretics whom 
he was opposing, he proceeds to prove their opposition to the 
doctrine of the Apostles, he professes only to be about to give 
that proof from their writings;- and he manifestly alludes to 
the Tradition preserved in the Churches founded by the Apostles, 
only for the sake of convincing the heretics with whom he had 
to deal, who, he tells us, " When reproved from the Scriptures, 
" immediately began to accuse the Scriptures themselves, as if 
" they were not correct, nor of authority, and as if they were 
" ambiyuous ; and as if the truth could not be discovered from 
" them, by those who were ignorant of Tradition, for that the 
" truth was not delivered in writing but orally." 3 To 
meet these heretics, therefore, on their own ground, (to the simi- 
larity of whose views to those of our opponents, I need hardly 
point the attention of the reader,) he introduces incidentally , 
and beyond his professed design, the testimony borne by the 
creed professed in the various Churches founded by the Apostles, 
to the correctness of his doctrine on the points in dispute. So 
evident is this, that the learned Romanist, Erasmus, scruples 
not to say, that Ireneeus in this work " fights against a host of 
heretics, with the sole aid of the Scriptures." 4 

I will add two more passages in proof of this. 

" On this account," he says, " we labour to adduce those 

1 " Omnia igitur talis circurnseribere volens discipulus Domini et regolam 
veritatis constituere in Ecclesia. ... sic inchoavit in ea, qua; est secundum 
Evangelium, doctrina." Id. ib. iii. 11. p. 1S8. (iii. 11. p. 218.) 

2 " Ex ipsis demonstrabimus Scriptoria in libris consequentibus .... Ex 
Scriptoria divinis probationes apponemus." Id. ib. ii. 35. pp. 170, 1. (ii. G6. pp. 
194, 5.) " In hoc tertio ex Scripturis infercinus ostensiones." iii. Pisef. p. 173. 
(p. 198.) 

3 " Cum cnim ex Scripturis arguuntur, in accusationem convertuntur ipsarum 
Scriptnrarum, quasi non recte babeant, ncque sint ex auctoritate, et quia varie 
suit dicta?, et quia non possit ex his inveniri Veritas ab his qui nesciant Tradi- 
taonem. Non enim per literas traditam illam, Bed per vivain voccm." Id. ib. 
iii. 2. p. 171. (pp. 199, 200.) 

' " Solia Scriptnrarum prseaidiia pugnat adveraus e&tervam luircticoiuin." 
Eeaami Prsef. in Iron. Vide ed. Mass. Append, p. 2. 


" proofs which arc derived from the Scriptures, that confuting 
" them by the very words of God, we may, as far as is in our 
" power, drive them from their enormous blasphemy/'' l 

And again ; — " Using those proofs which are from the Scrip- 
" tures, you may easily overturn, as we have demonstrated, all 
" those heretical notions which were afterwards invented." 2 

I add below some further references to passages which may 
show the reader how constant was this reference to Scripture as 
the Rule of faith. 3 

And, when reading his works, we must observe, that he, like 
the rest of the Fathers, sometimes uses the phrase " the Tradition 
of the Apostles" with reference to their writings. 4 ' 

But our opponents will say, Look at those other passages to 
which you have just alluded, in which he so clearly directs us to 
the Tradition preserved in the Church. 

We have no hesitation in accepting the challenge, and fear 
not to direct the reader's attention to those passages. There is 
nothing in them which, in a writer of the second century, occa- 
sions us any surprise, or leads us to conclude, that had Irenreus 
lived in our day, he would have taken any other view of our pre- 
sent subject, than that which we have taken; and which, in 
other passages, he has himself sanctioned. I shall now, without 
any intentional reserve, quote those passages that may be sup- 
posed to oppose our view. 

We have already observed, that his professed object, in his 

1 " Propter hoc enim et laboramus eas, qua? sunt ex Scripturis, adhibere osten- 
siones ; ut ipsis sermonibus confutantes eos, quantum in nobis est, cohibeanius 
eos a grandi blasphemia." Id. ib. iv. 34. p. 276. (iv. 68. p. 367.) 

2 " Utens etiam his ostensionibus, qua? sunt ex Scripturis, facile evertis, quein- 
admodum demonstravimus, omnes eas, qua? postea aflicta? sunt, ha?reticormn 
sententias." Id. ib. v. 14. p. 311. (p. 422.) 

3 "Ocra re Kiirai eV rats ypa<pa?s avanrTvacreiu. i. 10. p. 51. (i. 4. p. 48.) " Si 
Scripturas cognovissent, et a veritate docti essent, scirent," &c. ii. 13. p. 130. 
(ii. 16. p. 136.) " Ex Dominicis Scripturis ostendimus," &c. ii.30. p. 162. (ii. 54. 
pp. 182, 3.) " Revertaraur ad earn qua? est ex Scripturis ostensionem." iii. 5. p. 179. 
(p. 206.) "Ex ipsis Scripturis ostenditur." iii. 11. p. 192. (p. 224.) "Nobis conlabo- 
rantibus his ostensionibus qua? ex Scripturis sunt." iii. 12. p. 197. (p. 230.) " Ex 
Scripturis demonstravimus." iii. 19. p. 212. (iii. 21. p. 249.) "Quando ex ipsis 
Scripturis arguantur a nobis .... Qua? secundum nos est fides, manifestain osten- 
sionciii habeas ex his Scripturis." iii. 21. p. 216. (iii. 25. p. 256.) 

4 "Apostolorum traditioai. Etcaiai Petrns et Joannes et Mattha;us et Paulus 
et rebqui deiaceps," &c. Lib. iii. c. 21. p. 216. (iii. 25. p. 256.) 


third and following books, is to refute the heretics whom he was 
opposing from Sa-ipture. But seeing, as he tells us in the com- 
mencement of his third book, that these heretics, when convicted 
from Scripture, accused the Scriptures of being incorrect and 
ambiguous ; and that the truth could not be found out from 
them, by those who were ignorant of Tradition j 1 he, on that 
account, and in order to bring an additional confutation of their 
errors from the source to which they professed to defer, refers 
them to Tradition, viz., "that Tradition which was from the 
" Apostles, and was preserved in the Churches by the succession 
" of Presbyters ;" which Tradition, it seems, they opposed also ; 
and when thus driven to their last shift, boldly said, that they 
were wiser than the Apostles. 2 "Wherefore," says Irenseus, 
" we must oppose them in all ways ; if by any means confouud- 
" ing any of them by our refutation of their errors, we can 
" induce them to turn and confess the truth. For if it is not 
" easy for the mind, caught by error, to repent, yet it is not 
-" impossible for it to avoid error, when the truth is placed by 
" the side of it." 3 And then, postponing for the moment his 
Scriptural demonstration, that he may bring forward the evi- 
dence derived from Tradition, in order that he may oppose the 
heretics " in all ways," he adds, — " Therefore it is open to all 
" who wish to see the truth, to behold in every Church that 
" Tradition of the Apostles which was published throughout the 
" whole world ; and we can enumerate those who were appointed 
" bishops in the Churches by the Apostles, and their successors 
" even to our times, who have neither taught nor known any- 
" thing of the kind, such as these persons dream of."* 

And then, having referred to Rome as at that time one of 
the principal of the Apostolical Churches, he reminds us, that 

1 See note 3 p. 24 above. 

: " Dieentes se noii solum Presbyteris, sed etiam Apostolus exsistentes sapien- 
tioivs." Id. ib. iii. 2. p. 175. (p. 200.) 

3 " Qoapropter nndiqne resistcndum est ilbs, si quos ex bis retusione confun- 
dentes, ad conversionem veritatis adducere poBstmus. Etenim si non facile est ab 
errore apprebensam resipiscere animam, sed nonomnimodo udpossibileest errorem 
efrogere, appoeita rexitate.*' Id. ib. iii. 2. p. 175. (p. 200.) 

4 " Traditioneni itaque Apoatolorum is tote mundo maiufeetatau] in omhi 
Ecclesia adest reapicere omnibus qui vera vebnt videre ; et habemns annumeorare 


Clement has given us, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, "the 
" Tradition which he had lately received from the Apostles, an- 
" nouncing one God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, the 
" former of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abra- 
" ham, who led the people out of Egypt, who conversed with 
" Moses, who ordained the law, and sent the Prophets, who 
" hath prepared fire for the devil and his angels. They who 
" will, may learn from the Epistle itself, that He was proclaimed 
" by the Churches to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
" and may understand the Apostolical Tradition of the Church, 
" since this Epistle is more antient than those who now teach 
" falsehoods, and feigu that there is another God above the 
" Demiurgus and Maker of all those things which exist." 1 

And then, having proceeded to give the succession from 
Clement to his own time, he adds, ''By this ordination and 
" succession the Tradition which is in the Church from the 
" Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, hath come down 
" even to us. And this is a full proof that there is one and the 
" same lifegiving faith, which, derived from the Apostles, is still 
" preserved in the Church, and delivered in truth." .... "And 
" Polycarp always taught these things, which he had learned 
" from the Apostles, which also the Church delivers, and which 
" alone are time. All the Churches in Asia bear witness to 
" these things, and those who have succeeded to Polycarp up 
" to this time." 2 

eos qui ab Apostolis instituti sunt Episcopi in Ecclesiis, et suecessores eorum 
usque ad nos, qui nihil tale docuerunt, neque cognoverunt, quale ab his deliratur." 
Id. ib. iii. p. 175. (p. 200.) 

1 "*He peaxrri anb twv ' ' kiro<n6\<np irapaSoffiv elAri<pet, annunciantern unum 
Deum omnipotentem, factorem cceli et terra?, plasmatoreru hominis, qui induxerit 
eataclysinum, et advocaverit Abraham, qui eduxerit populum de terra JEgypti, 
qui colloquutus sit Movsi, qui legem disposuerit, et Prophetas miserit, qui ignem 
prseparaverit diabolo et angehs ejus. Hunc Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi 
ab Ecclesiis annunciari, ex ipsa Scriptura, qui velint, discere possunt, et Apo- 
stolicam Ecclesise Traditionem intelhgere, cum sit vetustior Epistola his qui nunc 
film decent, et alteram Deum super Demiurginn et Factorem horum omnium, 
quae sunt, commentiuntur." Id. ib. iii. 3. p. 176. (p. 202.) 

- Tfj avrfj To|ei, Ka\ Tp avrfj StSaxy yTt curb twv 'AiroffT6\wt> eV Ttj eK«Ai7<riot 
irapdSoffis, Ktxl rb ttjs aKriOetas K-f}puyfj.a Kar^vryKiv els Et est plenissima 
heee oetenrao, nnam et eamdem vivificatricem fidem esse, quae in Ecclesia ab 
Aj)ostohs us<pie nunc sit conservata, et trachta in veritate TaDro 8i5a^os 


The reader will not fail to observe, in the above notice of the 
Tradition to which Irenseus refers, as having been given by- 
Clement, what that Tradition is, and how utterly useless it 
is to those who are appealing to Tradition as something supple- 
mentary to Scripture, or even with reference to any of the more 
modern controversies of the Church. 

The same remark applies to the passage I am now about to 

" Since, therefore," he says, " there are such proofs, it is not 
" right yet to seek the truth among others, which it is easy to 
" take from the Church, since the Apostles fully treasured up 
" in it, as in a rich storehouse, all things belonging to the 
" truth, that every one who wished may take from it the water 
" of life. For this is the door of life ; but all the rest are thieves 
" and robbers. . . . But what if the Apostles had not left the 
" Scriptures to us ? Would it not have behoved us to follow 
" the order of the Tradition which they delivered to those to 
" whom they committed the Churches '( Which rule many 
" barbarous nations, of those who believe in Christ, follow, 
" having salvation written, without paper and ink, by the Spirit 
" in their hearts, and diligently keeping the old Tradition ; be- 
" lieving in one God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all 
" things which are in them, through Jesus Christ, the Son of 
" God ; who, from his extraordinary love for his creature, con- 
" descended to be born of a virgin, himself uniting man to God, 
" through himself, and suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising 
" again, and being received up in splendour, will come in glory 
" as the Saviour of tbose who are saved, and the Judge of those 
" who are condemned, and send into eternal fire the corrupters 
" of the truth, and the despisers of his Father and his advent. 
" They who have believed this faith without written testimony, 
" are, as far as regards our language, barbarians ; but, as it re- 
" gards sentiment, and custom, and conversation, are, through 
" their faith, extraordinarily wise, and please God, living in the 

ael [i. c. Tlo\vKapvos~\, a Kal irapa rwv 'AiroaroKwy efiadey, & Kal r) 'EKKArio-ia ira- 
paSiSuaii', a Kal fi6fa io-rlv a\7)6fj. Wlaprvpovaiv rovrots at koto rr]v 'Affiai/ 
«K«A7jffiai 7ra<rai, Kal oi /j-txp 1 v ^> v 8u&eSeyp4vM jbv FLoKvKapirov. Id. ib. iii. 3 
pp. 176,7. (p. 203.) 


" exercise of all justice, and chastity, and wisdom. To whom if 
" any one should announce those things which the heretics have 
" invented, speaking to them in their own language, they would 
" immediately stop their ears and fly far away, not enduring to 
" hear such blasphemous discourse. Thus, through that antient 
" Tradition of the Apostles, they do not admit into their minds a 
" thought of any of the monstrous doctrines of those heretics." 1 

These are the passages usually adduced from Irenaeus in 
support of the authority of Tradition ; and though there are 
some others (which I have referred to below 2 ) in which the 
Church is spoken of as the depositary of the Tradition of the 
Apostles, the above will, I suppose, be allowed to be as strong 
in favor of the authority of the Tradition preserved in the 
Church as any that can be adduced from his writings. 

From these passages it certainly follows, that Irenseus 
held, that in the Churches founded by the Apostles there was 
preserved to his day a correct tradition of certain fundamental 

1 " Tantae igitur ostensiones cum sint, non oportet adhuc quaerere apud alios 
veritatem, quam facile est ab Ecclesia sumere ; cum Apostoli, quasi in depo- 
sitorium dives, plenissime in earn contulerint omnia quae sint veritatis : uti omnis, 
quicmnque velit, sumat ex ea potum vitae. Haec est enim vitac introitus; omncs 
autem reliqui fures sunt et latrones. Propter quod oportet devitare quidem illos ; 
quae autem smit EccWsiae, cum summa diligentia diligere, et apprebendere veri - 
tatis traditionem. Quid enim ? Et si de aliqua modica quaestione disceptatio 
esset, nonne oporteret in antiquissimas recurrere Ecclesias, in quibus Apostoli 
conversati sunt, et ab eis de praesenti quaestione sumere quod eertum et re liqui- 
dum est ? Quid autem si neque Apostoli quidem Scripturas reliquisseut nobis, 
nonne oportebat ordinem sequi traditionis, qnain tradiderunt iis quibus committe- 
l>ant Ecclesias ? Cui ordinationi assentiunt multae gentes barbaroruni, eorum qui 
in Christum credunt, sine cbarta et atramento scriptam babentes per Spiritual in 
cordibus suis salutem, et veterem Traditionem diligeuter custodientes ; in luium 

Deum credentes fabricatorem coeb et terras, &c Hanc fidem qui sine Uteris 

crediderunt, quantum ad sermonem nostrum barbari sunt : quantum autem ad 
sententiam, et consuetudinem, et conversationem, propter fidem perquam sapien- 
tLssimi sunt, et placent Deo, conversantes in omni justitia et castitate et sapientia. 
Quibus si aliquis annunciaverit ea quae ab haereticis adinventa sunt, proprio ser- 
mone eorum colloquens, statim concludeutes aures, longolongius fugicnt, ne audi re 
quidem sustinentes blaspbemum colloquium. Sic per illani veterem Apostolorum 
traditionem, ne in conceptionem quidem mentis admittunt, quodcumque eorum 
portentiloquimn est." Id. ib. iii. 4. p. 178. (p. 206.) 

2 See lib. iii. 24. pp. 222, 3. (iii. 40. p. 266.); iv. 26. pp. 261—3. (iv. 43—45. 
pp. 313—5.); iv. 32. p. 270. (iv. 52. p. 355.); iv. 33. p. 272. (iv. 62, 63. pp. 
360, 1.) ; v. 20. p. 317. (v. 20. pp. 430, 1.) 


truths orally delivered to them by the Apostles, handed down to 
that time through the succession of the pastors of those Churches, 
and that this was an independent proof at that time of the 
truth of certain doctrines against the heretics he was opposing. 
Now, — to defer for a moment the consideration whether those 
doctrines at all affect any of the controversies of the present 
day — let me ask, What is the use of this fact to us ? Does it 
follow from it, that we can reason in the same way ? Obviously 
not. The principle applied by Irenseus is not applicable at the 
present day. He made these observations when the Church 
bore a totally different aspect ; and therefore to use the name of 
Irenseus in defence of the authority of Tradition in the present 
day, from his having made this appeal to the concurrent testi- 
mony of the Apostolical Churches in his own day, is to put 
forward a very false claim to confidence. He appeals to a fact 
which might then be verified ; but this is anything but evidence, 
that, had he lived sixteen centuries later, he would have con- 
sidered the testimony of a few antient authors as to the Tradi- 
tion preserved in their time in the Apostolical Churches, suffi- 
cient to clothe what they delivered as such with the authority of 
a divine informant. The present controversy may teach us the 
absurdity of such a notion ; for even with respect to our own 
Church, with her written Confessions, and varied documents 
of appeal, we and our opponents are directly opposed to each 
other, as to the fact of what her views are on several important 

Further ; he makes no appeal to that Tradition for more than 
an enunciation of a few prime articles of the Christian faith, 
which, in the fullest form in which he has given it, we have 
quoted in a former page ; l and which embraces nothing more 
than a few leading facts, such as the Incarnation, Resurrection, 
future Judgment, &c. never questioned in the Christian Church 
since the earliest ages. His appeal, therefore, goes not far 
enough to make it of any real use to our opponents, for however 
useful it might be against the imaginary deities of Valentinus, 
or such like absurdities, as to any of the points for which our 
opponents want it, it will be of no avail ; not to say, that his 
1 See v..l. i. pp. in, 112, and 139, 110. 


affirmation of the consent of all the Apostolical churches is far 
from being a sufficient proof of it. 

The Tractators say, that Irenseus himself tells us, that if we 
had not Scripture we must follow Tradition. True, he thus 
spoke to those of his own time as it respected a few of the prime 
facts of the Christian faith. But it does not follow that he would 
have said so to the present generation. Still less does it follow, 
that he would have recommended those who have Scripture to 
follow Tradition. The very fact that the truths of the Gospel were 
so carefully recorded in writing, and that the earliest heralds of 
it took such care to have the Gospels transcribed, and leave them 
with their new converts, (as Eusebius tells us was the case, 1 ) 
shows that Tradition was not considered a safe mode of transmit- 
ting doctrines. We deny not, that God might have preserved his 
Church from error as easily without as with the Scriptures, but 
so he could under any circumstances. 

And still further, Irenreus does not refer to this Tradition as 
containing anything beyond what is in the Scriptures, but only 
as an additional argument that his doctrine was true ; for the 
sake of those who, when convicted of error by the Scriptures, 
accused the Scriptures of imperfection and ambiguity. His 
opponents, when referred to Scripture, replied, that this was not 
to be considered a full representation of what the Apostles had 
delivered, and could not be understood but by a reference to 
what Tradition had delivered of the oral teaching of the Apostles. 
To which Irenseua replies, Let us then go to the Apostolical 
Churches, to see what they preach ; for, you must admit, that 
they are the most likely depositaries of the oral teaching of the 
Apostles, and seeing that they are unanimously against you, 
you are refuted on your own ground. And think not to urge, 
that they have declined from the true faith, for we can tell you 
who all their bishops have been, from the times of the Apostles, 
and defy you to challenge any one of them as having corrupted 
the faith or preached your doctrines. 2 

1 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 37. ed. Reading. 1720. p. 133. 

2 So far Episcopal Succession in a Church may afford us a useful argument in 
disproof of corruption of doctrine in that Church, i. e. when all the links in the 


Nay, as we shall now proceed to show, he clearly sets forth 
Scripture as containing fully all the Christian faith. 

Thus, in a passage just quoted, he tells us, that what the in- 
spired authors preached, that they afterwards, by the ivill of God, 
delivered to us in the Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar 
of our faith. 1 And he speaks of " the most full statements of 
the Scriptures, admitting neither addition nor subtraction." 2 
Holy Scripture, therefore, delivers the faith, not imperfectly and 
partially, but fully. And if we are unable to explain all things 
in the Scriptures, "we ought to leave such things with God 
" who made tis, knowing well that the Scriptures are perfect as 
" having been uttered by the Word of God and his Spirit ; but 
" we, in proportion as we are inferior and far removed from the 
" Word of God and his Spirit, so far we lack the knowledge of 
" his mysteries. And it is not wonderful, if, in spiritual and 
" heavenly things, and those things which have to be revealed, 
" this should be the case .... and we leave those things with 
" God." 3 

Far from supposing that the faith is imperfectly delivered in 
the Scriptures, and that the Church is in possession of a sup- 
plementary revelation, he warns us to recollect, that the Scrip- 
tures are a perfect revelation of the Christian faith, and that so 
much as we cannot understand in the Scriptures we must leave 
with God. 

And when about to refute the heretics from the Apostolical 
Scriptures, he says, that, considering their various errors, " we 
" hold it necessary to produce the whole doctrine of the Apostles 
" concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, and show that they held no 

chain can be pointed out, and none accused of error. But how far this will 
sanction the notions of our opponents on the value of that Succession, is worth their 

1 See note ', p. 23 above. 

2 " Quae pervenit usque ad nos, custoditione sine fictione, Scripturaruni tractatio 
plenissima, neque additarnentum neque ablationem recapiens." Ike>~. Adv. hser. 
iv. 33. ed. Mass. p. 272. (ed. Grab. iv. 63. p. 361.) 

a " Cedere autein hffiC talia debemus Deo, qui et nos fecit, rectissirae scientes, 
quia Scriptural quideni perfects sunt, qnippe a Verbo Dei et Spiritu ejus dictse , 
nos autem secundum quod minores sumus et nuvissinii a Verbo Dei et Spiritu 
ejus, secundum hoc et scientia mysteriorum ejus indigemus. Kt nun est mirnm, 


u such notion respecting him ;" l and that whole doctrine he then 
proceeds to derive from the Scriptures. 

He tells us, also, that " the precepts of a perfect life" are 
delivered " in both Testaments/'- so that the Holy Scriptures 
of each Testament are sufficient to reveal that portion of Divine 
truth which God intended for those who possessed them under 
each. And the exposition of the doctrine of the Apostles given 
by the true Church is "according to the Scriptures." 3 

And he says, that when in his youth he heard Polycarp 
relating what he had heard from John and others, who had seen 
the Lord, of his miracles and doctrine, all things that he men- 
tioned were " agreeable to the Scriptures ; ,}i which testimony, 
however it may be explained away by those who are desirous of 
doing so, is, notwithstanding, not a little in favor of the view 
for which we are contending. 

And he speaks of the Valentinians as persons who in relying 
upon traditions not delivered in the Scriptures were attempting 
to make ropes of sand. 5 

And hence he says, " If any one should ask, what God did 
" before he made the world, we reply, that the answer to that 
" rests with God. For, that this world was made perfect by 
" God, receiving a beginning in time, the Scriptures teach us, 
c< but what God did before this, no Scripture manifests. There- 
" fore the answer to this rests with God." 6 

si in spiritalibus et ccelestibus, et in his qua; habent revelari, hoc patimur nos. . . . 
et Deo haec ipsa committinius." Id. ib. ii. 28. p. 156. (ii. 47. p. 173. ) 

1 " Xecesse habemus, universam Apostolorum de Domino nostro Jesu Chiisto 
sententiam adhibere, et ostendere, eos non solum nihil tale sensisse de eo, verum 
ainplius," &c. Id. ib. hi. 16. p. 204. (iii. 17. p. 238.) 

2 " Consummatae enim vita; prsecepta in utroque Testamento cum shit eadem, 
eumdem ostenderunt Deum." Id. ib. iv. 12. p. 241. (iv. 26. p. 312.) 

3 " Secundum Scripturas expositio." Id. ib. iv. 33. p. 272. (.iv. 63. p. 361.) 

4 'A7T7J77eAAe iravTa tTvp.(poiva rais Tpaxpdis Fragin. (ex Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 
v. 20.) ed. Mass. p. 340. (ed. Grab. p. 464.) 

* 'E| aypacpuiv avayivwcncovTes, Kal rb 8tj KzySixtvov, e'| &fxjxov rrxoivia ir\fKtiv 
firiTriSevovTfs. Adv. hssr. i. 8. p. 36. (i. 1. § 15. p. 35.) 

6 "Ut pnta, si quis interroget; Antequam muudum faceret Deus, quid agebat ? 
dicimus quoniam i.sta responsio subjacet Deo. Quoniam autem mundus hie fattus 
est apoteh-stos a Deo, temporale initium accipii-iH, ScriptorsB oosdocent; quid 
autem ante hoc Deus sit operatas, nulla Scriptura manifestat. Subjacet ergo hsBC 
responsio Deo." Ib. ii. 28. p. 157. (ii. 47. p. 175.) 


And a°-ain, — "We have learned from the Scriptures, that 
" God is supreme over all ; but whence or how he sent it [i. e. 
" the substance of the Word] forth, neither hath any Scripture 
" explained, nor does it become us to conjecture." x He must 
have added, "nor Tradition revealed," had he held the views of 
our opponents. 

In conclusion, then, we may remark, that even if Irenseus 
supposed himself to know anything of Apostolical teaching, 
through the reports of the Asian presbyters, or otherwise, beyond 
what was in Scripture, he makes such " Tradition" no part of 
the Rule of faith for Christians generally. At that early period, 
many might speak with respect of such reports of Apostolical 
teaching, who did not set them down as indubitable divine informants, 
and forming part of the Rule of faith to mankind. 

Asterius Urbanus. (fl. a. 188.) 

In a work against the Montanists written by a contemporary 
author, probably Asterius Urbanus, of which a fragment is pre- 
served to us by Eusebius, we have a very remarkable evidence 
of the opinion of the early Church as to the complete perfection 
of Scripture, and the uniqueness of its character as a divine 

This author having been requested (as he tells us) to write a 
work against Montanism, he remained for some time doubtful 
what to do; "not [he adds] through any doubt of my being 
" able to refute falsehood, and bear witness to the truth ; but 
" from being fearful and cautious, lest by any means I should 
" appear to some to write or determine anything beyond the 
" word of the New Covenant of the Gospel, which must not be 
" added to nor diminished by him who has resolved to order his 
" life according to the Gospel itself." 2 

1 " Didicimus enira ex Scripturis principatum tenere super omnia Deum. 
Unde autcm vel qucmadmodum cniisit earn, neque Scriptura aliqua exposuit, 
Deque nos phantasmari oportet." lb. ii. 28. p. 158. (ii. 49. p. 177.) 

Ovk airopia. tov TivvaaQai ikeyxeiv /J-hy rb xf/tvSos, jxapTvpelv Be rfj a\r)9€iq- 
SeSiws Se koi ^fv\a0ovfj.evos, )jA] ttt\ 5^|co tkt\v £in(rvyypd.<peiv f) iiri$iaT<i<r(T<=<T0ai 
r<p ttjs rov evayye\iov Katvrjs 5ia0r,KT)s \6yy § fj.r}re Trpocr9e7i>at fj.rjr' a(pt\€?u 
tivvarbv, rep koto rb tvayyeKiov avrb iro\iTfvecr6cu ■Kpoi)p-i) ASTERIUS 


How totally different this language from that of one who 
possessed another divine informant by the successional delivery 
of the oral teaching of the Apostles, and had in that Tradition 
a full development of doctrines of which Scripture contained 
only " notices ! " And yet this is the language of one who lived 
only about a century after the times of the Apostles. 

Tertullian. (fl. a. 192.) 

Next in importance to the testimony of Irenreus is that of 
Tertullian, and their views on our present subject appear to be 
precisely the same. 

In considering his testimony we shall follow the same course 
as in the case of Irenseus ; we shall notice first those passages 
that support the view we have been maintaining upon the points 
under discussion, and then consider those which are likely to be 
referred to as adverse to it. 

Is, then, Scripture the sole authoritative Rule of faith with 
Tertullian ? 

The following passages will show how frequently it is referred 
to by him as the authoritative Rule of faith, (not indeed under 
that name, because he uses that term more particularly for the 
creed established by the consent of the Apostolical Churches, 
but as being what that title signifies with us,) and we shall show 
hereafter, what were the only exceptions he would have made 
against its being regarded as the sole authoritative Rule of faith. 

In his Treatise, then, " Against Hermogenes," he distinctly 
calls it " the rule of truth ; " l and elsewhere he says of a doc- 
trine in question, " Nothing is certain respecting it, because the 
Scripture does not declare it." 8 And in his Treatise "Against 
Praxeas/' he says, — " You ought to prove this as clearly from 
the Scriptures as we prove that He made his Word his Son/' 3 

Ueba> t its in Fragm. op. Adv. Montanist. in Eusebii Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 16. 
(ed. Reading, vol. i. p. 228.) 

1 " A T eritatis regula prior qua; etiam futuras hsereses pramuntiavit,"&c. Ter- 
tullian. Adv. Hermog. c. 1. Op. ed. Paris. 1664. fol. p. 233. 

2 "Nihil de eo constat, quia Scriptura non exhibet." Id. De came Cbristi, 
c. 6. p. 312. See also the immediately preceding context, " Si non probant, quia 
nee scriptum est, nee," &c. 

3 " Probare autem tam aperte debebis ex Scripturis, quam nos probamus ilium 
sibi filium fecisse sermonem suum." Id. Adv. Prax. c. 11. p. 505. 

D 2 


And elsewhere he urges the refutation of error by " referring 
the points in dispute to the Scriptures of God." 1 

Nay, in his Treatise "Against Hermogenes," he says plainly, 
" That all things were made of some subjacent matter, I have 
" nowhere as yet read. Let the shop of Hermogenes show that 
" it is written. If it is not written, let him fear that woe that 
" is destined for those who add to or take from Scripture." 2 
And so he says elsewhere, — " Take from the heretics the prin- 
" ciples they hold in common with the heathen, so that they 
" may be left to prove their points from the Scriptures alone, and 
" they will not be able to stand."* 

And hence in his Treatise " On prescription of heretics," 
he calls the Scriptures " the documents of the doctrine [of 

And, in a word, throughout all his Treatises, with the few ex- 
ceptions which shall be hereafter noted, he refers to the Scrip- 
tures alone for the proof of the doctrines of religion ; and he 
does so, not as Mr. Newman does, who would have us suppose 
that it would be no proof unless Tradition had previously de- 
livered the doctrine to us, that is, in other words, that it is no 
proof at all, but as a real proof speaking to the common sense of 
evert/ man. 

Moreover, that Scripture contains all the points of faith be- 
longing to the Christian religion, we have these testimonies. 

" I adore," he says, " the fulness of Scripture, which manifests 
u to me both the Creator and his works. But in the Gospel I 
" find discourse very abundantly serving as the minister and 
t( witness of the Creator. But that all things were made of 

1 "Urgemur et communes sententias ab argumentationibus philosophorum 
liberare et communes argumentationes a sententiis eorum separare, revocando 
qucestiones ad Dei literas." Id. De anima, c. 2. p. 265. 

3 Id. Adv. Hermog. c. 22. p. 241. The passage occurs in a following note. 

3 " Aufer dem'que bsereticis qua? cum etlmicis sapiunt, ut de Seripturis solis 
qua stiones suas sistant, et stare non potcrunt." Id. De resurr. earn. c. 3. p. 327. 
That the arguments of the heretics from Scripture may be refuted from Scripture, 
he also intimates, ib. c. ult. p. 365. " Pristina instrumenta quasdam materias illis 
[i. e. ha;resibus] videntur su^ministrasse, el ijn-as quidem Usd&m Utteris revin- 

* Id. De Prescript, haeret, c. 38. The passage is given in a following note. 


" some subjacent matter, I have nowhere as yet read. Let the 
" shop of Hermogenes show that it is written. If it is not 
" written, let him fear that woe that is destined for those who 
" add to or take from Scripture." 1 

This testimony is surely plain and distinct. The cavil of the 
Romanists that it applies only to one particular article is too 
absurd to need refutation. The latter part of the passage in 
particular is so utterly irreconcileable with such a notion, that 
no impartial reader could entertain it for a moment. 

Again, in his Treatise ff On prescription of heretics," he 
says, speaking of the Church of Rome, " She joins the Law and 
" the Prophets with the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles, 
" and thence she draws the faith." a In those writings, then, 
'' the faith" is to be found ; and in another part of the same 
Treatise is a passage strongly, though indirectly, showing his 
mind in this matter. " The heretics," he says, " to show the 
u ignorance of the Apostles, briDg forward the fact, that Peter 
" and they that were with him were blamed by Paul .... But 
11 we might here say to those who reject the Acts of the Apostles, 
" you have first to show, who that Paul was, both what he was 
" before he was an Apostle, and how he was an Apostle .... But 
" they may believe forsooth without the Scriptures, that they may 
" believe contrary to the Scriptures." 3 

1 "Adoro Scriptura? plenitudiiiem, qua [' quae alii, teste Junto* Semler] milri 
et factorem manifestat et facta. In evangelic vero amplius et ministruni atque 
arbitrurn rectoris [factoris, MS. ap. Rigalt.] invenio sermonem. An autem de 
aliqua subjaeenti materia facta sint omnia, nusquam adhuc legi. Scriptum esse 
doceat Hermogenis officina. Si non est scriptum, timeat vae illud adjicientibus 
aut detrahentibus destinatmn." Id. Adv. Hermog. c. 22. p. 241. See also his 
reference to Scripture in c. 33 of same Treatise, p. 245 ; and, De carne Cbristi, 
c. 7. p. 312. 

2 " Legem et prophetas cum Evangelicis et Apostolicis litteris miscet, et inde 
potat fidem." Id. De Pra?scr. hscret. c. 36. p. 215. A passage implying the same 
occurs, according to the text of Pamelius, in c. 44 of this Treatise, " Si vero 
memores Dominicarum et Apostolicarum Scripturarum et denuntiationum in fide 
integra steterint," &c. The words " Scripturarum et" are omitted hi the subset 
quent editions of Eigaltius and Priorius, and without notice. 

3 " Proponunt ergo ad suggillandam ignorantiam ahquam Apostolorum, quod 
Petrus et qui cum eo reprehensi sint a Paulo. . . . Possumus et hie Acta Aposto- 
lorum repudiantibus dicere, I'l'ni^ es1 uli cwtendatifl, quia i^te Paulus, et quid ante 
Apostolum, et quomodo Apostolus. . . . Sed credant sine Scripturia, ut credant 
adversus Scripturas." Id. De Prsescr. haret. c. 23. p. 210. See also c. 8. p. 205. 


Having thus given Tertullian's general view of the subject 
before us, I now proceed to consider what objections may be 
urged against it. 

It may be urged, then, that the greater part of the works of 
Tertullian, and almost all those quoted above, were written after 
he had embraced Montanism, and believed that the effusions of 
Prisca and others were divinely-inspired, and therefore that he 
could not have looked upon the Scripture as the only divine 

This objection is so far valid, that it must be admitted, that 
Tertullian's reference to Scripture as the authoritative Rule of 
faith must be supposed not to exclude the interpretations of 
Scripture given by Montanus and his prophetesses, which were 
received by Tertullian as proceeding from the Divine Spirit. 
But the admission must not be extended to any new points of 
doctrine, for such he did not believe to have been introduced by 
the " New Prophecy," but only improvements in the discipline 
of the Church. His view of the benefits accruing to the Church 
from the supposed inspiration of Montanus and his prophetesses 
is summarily expressed in the following sentence in his Treatise 
on veiling virgins, — " What, therefore, is the administration 
" of the Paraclete but this, that discipline is directed, that 
" the Scriptures are unfolded, that the understanding is im- 
" proved, that an advance is made to better things." 1 

But, nevertheless, this did not prevent him, when reasoning 
with those who did not receive the " New Prophecy," from 
making Scripture the authoritative Rule of faith ; and as far as 
regards any exception made by him in favour of Montanus and 
his prophetesses, as authoritative guides for the interpretation of 
that Rule, so far, I suppose, it is needless here to offer any re- 
mark. Our opponents are not in this prepared to follow him. 
And, therefore, as far as this exception is concerned, his lan- 
guage is to us equivalent to the making Scripture the sole autho- 
ritative Rule of faith. 

But there remains certainly a limitation to be made to the 

"Qua eal ergo Paracleia administrate nisi brec, quod diseiplina dirigitur, quod 
Scripture rereHantur, quod intelleetus reformatur, quod ad meliora proticitur." 
Id. Do virg. vel. c. i. p. 173 ; and see De resurr. c. ult. ad fin. p. 365. 


general view of his sentiments given above, as it respects certain 
elementary points of the Christian faith, which, like Irenseus, he 
speaks of as proveable, at that time, even independently of Scrip- 
ture, by the united testimony of all the Apostolical Churches. 1 
He thinks, and perhaps justly, considering the period at which 
he wrote, when the facts upon which he rested his view might 
be verified, that such a testimony established the apostolical 
origin of the doctrines for which he cites it. 2 

These doctrines he has enumerated, with some little variation, 
in three of his Treatises, 3 where he has given them under the 

1 The strange way in which this remark has been perverted by the Tractarian 
Reviewer of the first edition of this work (Brit. Crit. for July, 1842. p. 100.) 
requires a brief notice. He says, — " That the strong expressions of the Fathers 
concerning Scripture, whatever they mean, do not imply the Protestant principle, 
Mr. Goode shows us himself by quoting passages to the full as strong from 
SS. Irenams and Tertullian, of whom he acknowledges (p. 285, 295) [in this 
edition, pp. 29, 30, and 39] that they 'knew certain prime points of the Christian 
faith. ... as provable. . . . even independently of Scripture, by the united testimony 
of all the Apostolical Churches.' Their strong language then about Scripture did 
not mean that they resorted to it for instruction on fundamentals ; and therefore 
the language of the other Fathers, which is no whit stronger, need not have meant 
so either." The writer of this has completely forgotten, that Irenaeus and Ter- 
tullian do not mention the " united testimony of all the Apostolical Churches " as 
that to which they themselves had " resorted " for their own " instruction," but 
only used it as an argument against certain heretics who corrupted the Scriptures 
and professed to refer to Tradition. And in order to elicit his required sense 
from my words, he has been obliged to alter them, by making me say, that Irenaeus 
and Tertullian "knew" those points "as provable. ... by the united testimony," 
&c. The introduction of the word " knew," which is quite different from what I 
used in either place, has completely changed the character of my remark. 

Irenaeus and Tertullian repeatedly refer to Scripture as that from which they 
had learned this and that doctrine, and speak of the Scriptures as containing a 
full account of the whole faith, admitting neither addition nor diminution ; and 
(as we shall see hereafter) an account clear enough to be understood by those 
willing to be taught by it. This is all that is wanted for the support of " the Pro- 
testant principle." That, at that early period, the " united testimony of all the 
Apostolical Churches" might be considered by Irenaeus and Tertullian sufficient, 
even without Scripture, to prove that the incarnation of the Son of God, his and 
our resurrection, and a future Judgment, were doctrines of Christianity, and that 
the Pagan dreams of the early heretics about a multiplicity of Gods and each like 
were not so, and that those by whom Scripture was corrupted were at that time 
referred by those Fathers to that testimony as conclusive against them, is a 
matter which does not in the least affect the witness borne by Irenaeus and Ter- 
tullian to the soundness of " the Protestant principle." 

2 Id. De Praescript. haeret. c. 21. p. 209. 

3 De virg. vel. c. 1. p. 173. De Prascr. haeret. c. 13. pp. 206, 7. Adv. Prax. 
C. 2. p. 501. See these formulae above, vol. i. pp. 112 — 113. 


title of "the rule of faith," and in one of those Treatises, viz. 
that " On prescription of heretics," he has distinctly stated, 
that these truths may be proved to be of Apostolical origin by 
the unanimous consent of the Apostolical Churches, indepen- 
dently of Scripture, and that consequently any interpretation of 
Scripture contrary to these must be false ; and that since the 
heretics had corrupted the Scriptures, and that by allegation of 
the Scriptures the door was open to much argumentation, foreign 
to the immediate subject, about the true text of Scripture and 
such points, it was better not to argue with them on these points 
from Scripture, but to allege at once against them the " rule of 
faith " supported by the unanimous consent of all the Aposto- 
lical Churches. 1 

But, for more than the truths so enumerated, and which we 
have given in a preceding page, 2 he does not challenge the con- 
sent of the Apostolical Churches. Nay, he as much as inti- 
mates, that more could not be so established, for he says, 
" while this form of faith remains in its proper place in your 
" regard, however much you may seek and discuss matters, and 
" pour out the whole excess of your curiosity, if anything ap- 
" pears to you either to be doubtful or overshadowed icith obscurity, 
" there is some brother, a doctor, gifted with the grace of know- 
" ledge, or some one conversant with those exercised in such 
" matters, some one alike curious with yourself [who can advise 
" you] ; but while seeking alone, it is better for you to be 
" ignorant to the last, lest you know what you ought not, be- 
" cause what is necessary you already know. ' Thy faith/ saith 
"he, ' hath saved thee;' not exercitation in the Scriptures." 3 
He does not, then, refer the inquirer on other points to the con- 
sentient testimony of the Churches, but advises the ordinary 
inquirer, if he be over curious in his researches into all the 

1 De Prsescr. lueret. cc. 15—21. p. 207—9. 

2 See vol. i. pp. 112, 113. 

3 " Manente forma ejus in suo ordine, quantumlibet quaeras et tractes, et 
omnem libidinem curiositatis eftundas, si quid tibi videtur vel ambiguitate 
pendere vel obscuritate obumbrari, est utique frater aliqiii doctor gratia scien- 
tiffl donatus, est aliqui inter exercitatos conversatus, aliqui tecum curiosus. 
Tecum tamen quaerens, novissime ignorare melius est, ne quod non debeaa 
ii' iris, quia quod debeas nosti. Fides, inquit, tua te salvum fecit; non excr- 
citatio Script urarum." Id. De Prajscr. baeret. c. 14. p. 207. 


points treated of in the Scriptures, and finds something which 
appears to him doubtful or obscure, to have recourse to some 
skilful teacher as a preservative against error ; advice, of the 
prudence and propriety of which there can, I suppose, be no 
question, while it is equally unquestionable, that such a teacher 
is not, nor is proposed by Tertullian as, an infallible guide. 

Among other objections to this mode of arguing, the heretics 
urged, that possibly the Churches might have put an erroneous 
sense upon the teaching of the Apostles, to which he justly 
replies, " Is it likely that such Churches and so many should 
a have corrupted the faith precisely in the same way ? Nothing 
" that happens to many different individuals has precisely the 
u same event in the case of all. There would have been some dif- 
*' ference in their doctrine had it been corrupted ; that which is 
" found the same among many, is not a corruption, but what was 
" delivered to them." 1 

Let the reader observe, that we meet with nothing here about 
episcopal grace preserving the pure deposit of the faith ; nor even 
the more sober argument of Irenseus, that all the bishops might 
be enumerated from the times of the Apostles, and none accused 
of corrupting the faith. 

And, further, he maintained, that it was easy to show the 
novelty of the heresies he was combating, and consequently their 
error ; and he calls upon the heretics, if they pretended to deduce 
their origin from the Apostles, to point out the succession through 
which their doctrine had come down to them, which was a very 
just challenge at that time.- 

And, lastly, he, like Irenteus, uses this mode of argument 
against the heretics, on account apparently of the way in which 
they dealt with Scripture, corrupting it, and cavilling with the 
correctness of the text, and raising questions and arguments thi t 
prevented a fair appeal to Scripture. 

This Treatise, viz. " On prescription of heretics," is, as far as 
Tertullian is concerned, the supposed stronghold of our op- 

1 " Ecquid verisimile est, ut tot ac tantse in unam fideni erraverint ? Nollns 
inter multos eventus nuns est. Exitus rariasse debuerat error doctrinsc Eccle- 
siarun). Ceternm quod apod mtdtoe umnn invenitur, Don est erratum, sed tra- 
ditum." Id. ib. c. 28. See cc. 27, 8. pp. 211, 12. 

2 Id. ib. cc. 29—32. pp. 212, 13. 


ponents, for though he has spoken favorably of Tradition in 
two other places, namely, in his Treatise " On the Crown/' 
and that " Against Marcion," yet his notice of it in the former 
is only with respect to matters of discipline, 1 and, in the latter, 
consists of two passing allusions to it in a Treatise of five 
books, of which the whole argumentation is derived from Scrip- 
ture, and those referring only to a point contained in the Creed 
he has given as established by the consent of the Apostolical 
Churches, viz. a refutation of Marcion's idea that the God of 
the Old Testament was different from the God of the New. 2 

His argumentation elsewhere is derived wholly from the 
Scriptures, nor does he attempt to press his interpretations of 
Scripture upon the authority of Tradition, except in the case 
already noticed, i. e. in the points contained in the Creed he has 

Now, in all this, it is difficult to see what support Tertullian 
gives to the views of our opponents. At the time he urate, he 
held that the agreement of all the Apostolical Churches in a few r 
elementary doctrines, (to which agreement he appeals as a fact 
that might be verified,) proved that those doctrines came from the 
Apostles ; and, therefore, that the shortest way of dealing with 
the heretics of that day, (for he tells us himself that he used 
the argument "for the sake of brevity," 3 ) was by adducing this 
evidence against them. AVhat then ? Does it follow that Ter- 
tullian would pursue the same course now ? Nay, this is not a 
question apparently, for we are not sent to learn the truth thus, 
but from a few antient fallible authors. So, then, what is as- 
sumed must be, that, because Tertullian made such an appeal 
to the Apostolical Churches of his da)-, therefore he would now 
have appealed to a few fallible antient authors, as affording in- 
fallible proof of what was the universal opinion of all the 
Apostolical Churches sixteen centuries ago. 

And after all, as w r e have already observed, the Creed he 
gives as established by the consent of the Apostolical Churches, 

1 Id. De Corona, cc. 3, 4. pp. 101, 102. 

2 Id. Adv. Mare. Kb. i. c. 21, and lib. iii. c. i. 

" Solemns hii'reticis compendii gratia de posteritatepraescribere." Id. Adv. 
Ilermog. c. 1. p. 233. 


is limited to matters about which there has not been for many 
centuries any controversy in the Church. If our opponents were 
as moderate as he is in this respect, we should feel little inclined 
to disturb their position. But when, in the nineteenth century, 
they pretend to a knowledge of antient catholic consent, more 
extensive and minute than Tertullian pretended to in the second 
century, let them beware how they claim him as a supporter of 
their pretensions. 

And as to any notion that the Creed of the Apostolical 
Churches, as given by Tertullian, adds anything to Scripture, 
it is directly opposed to Tertullian's views, for he is most careful 
to maintain its identity with the declarations of Scripture. 1 

And wdiether Tertullian's statement as to these Churches 
was correct, no one can now tell. 

As Dr. Pusey, in the Tract to which we have referred in a 
former page, 2 has referred to a work on Tertullian, written by 
a learned prelate of our Church, I willingly join him in the appeal ; 
and the reader will find it distinctly stated by that learned author, 
that Tertullian held, that " the Scriptures contained the whole 
rule of faith," 5 and that he agrees with Dr. Neander, that, 
" though on some occasions the Christians of those clays might 
" appeal solely to the authority of Tradition, they uniformly 
" maintained, that the doctrine of Christianity in all its parts 
" might be deduced from Holy Writ"* and that "though inter- 
" pretations which had received the sanction of the Church were 
" not to be lightly rejected, yet the practice of Tertullian himself 
" proves, that he believed every Christian to be at liberty to exercise 
" his own judgment upon them." 5 

And in a note in the same place, speaking of Tertullian's 
argumeut in his Treatise, " De prsescr. hseret." he adds, — " To 
" me he [Tertullian] appears to have appealed to it [Tradition] 
" from necessity — because he could not, from the nature of the 

1 Id. De Praescr. haeret. cc. 33, 34, and 38. pp. 214 and 216. 

2 See vol. i. pp. 23 and 35. 

3 The ecclesiastical history of the second and third centuries illustrated from 
the writings of Tertullian, by John [Kaye], Bishop of Bristol. 2nd edit. 182G. 
p. 296. 3d ed. 1815. p. 278. 

4 lb. Pref. pp. xvi, xvii ; or 3d ed. 1845. p. xxvi. 
* lb. pp. 296, 7; or, 3d ed. 1845. p. 279. 


" dispute in which be was engaged, directly appeal to Scripture. 
" The heretics, with whom he was contending, not only proposed 
" a different rule of faith, but in defence of it produced a dif- 
" ferent set of Scriptures. How then was Tertullian to confute 
" them ? By showing that the faith which he professed, and 
" the Scriptures to which he appealed, were, and had always 
" been, the faith and Scriptures of those Churches of which the 
" origin could be traced to the Apostles — the first depositaries 
" of the faith. In this case Tertullian had no alternative : he 
" was compelled to appeal to Apostolic Tradition. But when he 
" is contending against Praxeas, a Heretic who acknowledged 
" the Scriptures received by the Church, though he begins with 
" laying down the rule of faith nearly in the same words as in 
" the Tract ' De Prsescriptione Hsereticorum/ yet he conducts 
" the controversy by a constant appeal to Scripture ." 

Clement of Alexandria, (fl. a. 192.) 

We now come to Clement of Alexandria, one of the most 
learned of the early Fathers whose remains are extant, but one 
whose works, valuable as they are, exhibit strong traces of 
feelings and habits of thought derived more from human philo- 
sophy than from divine revelation. 1 

In entering upon a review of his opinions on the subject 
before us, we have at once to remark his advocacy of a notion 
somewhat similar to that of our opponents, and which might by 
an incautious reader be confounded with it, but which never- 
theless is far from being the same, and moreover is one almost 
peculiar to himself, of the Fathers yet extant. It was his opinion, 
as we learn from Eusebius, that " the Lord, after his resurrec- 
" tion, conferred the gift of knowledge upon James the Just, 
" John and Peter, which they delivered to the rest of the 
" Apostles, and those to the seventy disciples."- And in the 

1 See especially the first book of his " Stromata." 

2 'O Se avrbs [i. e. KA^utjs] eV efiSSfxcp rijs avTijs vwodeaews [i. e. 'Tirorvirw- 
ffeaiv], ert Kal ravra wep] avrou (p-qcriv 'laxwfiy rep SiKaly Kal 'Ioxxpj'?; Kal Ufrpcfi 
fitra tV avarrramv naptSwKe rr)i> yvuxnv 6 Kvpios- outoi rots \oiiro7s 'AnoffToKots 
irapth'oiKa.v ol 5e Aotirol 'AiriWroAoi tois e/SSo^v'j/coj'Ta. ErteEB. Hist. Eccl lib. ii. 
c. 1. cd. Keading. p. 44. 


first Book of his Stromata, he says that the teachers from whom 
he had learned the Christian doctrine, " preserved the true 
" Tradition of the blessed Gospel as delivered by Peter, and 
" James, and John, and Paul, the holy Apostles, having received 
" it in succession the son from his father, though few are like 
" the fathers ; and at length, by God's help, are depositing 
" with us those seeds received from their forefathers and the 
" Apostles." l A knowledge of this Tradition he considers to 
be necessary to constitute a perfect Christian, whom he calls a 
Gnostic, distinguishing him from the ordinary Christian, whom 
he speaks of as having only common faith. 2 

This " Gnostic Tradition," however, as he frequently calls it, 3 
was not intended for Christians in general. The Lord, he tells 
us, " permitted the Divine mysteries and the holy light to be 
" communicated to those who were capable of receiving them. 
" He did not immediately reveal them to many, because they 
" were not adapted to many, but to a few, to whom he knew 
" them to be adapted, and who were both able to receive them 
" and to be conformed to them. Secret things, like God, are 
" entrusted to speech, not to writing." 4 And hence he exhorts 
the Gnostic, " Be cautious in the use of the word, lest any one 
" who has fallen in with the knowledge taught by you, and is 
" unable to receive the truth, should disobey and be ensnared 
"by it; and to those who come without understanding, shut 
" the fountain, whose waters are in the deep, but give drink to 
" those who are athirst for truth. Conceal, therefore, this 
" fountain from those who are not able to receive the profundity 
" of the knowledge. The Gnostic, who is master of this foun- 

1 'AAA' ol fx\v Ty\v aAr)6rj ttjs fxaKapias (Ttb&fTes Si5acrKa\(as Ttapadoaiv, evBvs 
curb nerpov T€ Kal laKwfiov, \wavvov T€ Kal XlavAov, t£>v ay'iuii* 'An oar Show, irous 
■napd irarpbs e/c5e;t(fyxej/os" 6\iyoi Se ol iraTpacnv oftoior ■f)KOv 8j; o~bv 0e<j3 Kal eis 
r) to. TrpoyoviKa tKtiva Kal 'ATroffroXiKa Ka7a6r]o-6p.ei>oi cnrepfiara. Clem. Alex. 
Strom, lib. i. § 1. pp. 322, 3. Op. ed. Potter. Ox. 1715. (pp. 274, 5. edd. Par. 
1641. and Col. 1688.)— See also Strom, lib. vi. p. 771. (or, 645.) 

2 See Strom, lib. v. pp. 659, 60. (or, 557, 8.) 

3 Id. Strom, lib. iv. p. 564; (or, 475) ; and, lib. v. p. 683; (or, 577); &c. 

4 MeraSiSoVcu 5e tS>v Otlaiv p.vffrr)plcov Kal rod (piarbs iKfivov rod aylov tois 
■^tapilv Svyafiefois o~vyKex ( *>p'0 Ket ' [}• e - o Kvpios]. AvTiKa ou tto\\o7s airfKaAvipev 
6. fify troWwv %v, b\iyois 8e ois Trpoo~S]Keiv T)irio~TaTo, rots o'lois re iKb~e£ao~6at Kal 
TvituQTJvaL irpbs aiird- Ta 8e anSppriTa, Kadourep 6 Qtbs, \6y(p 7r«rTeueTai, ov ypdfi- 
uan. Id. Strom, lib. i. § 1. p. 323. (or, 275.) 


" tain, will himself suffer punishment, if he gives occasion to 
" one who as yet is only conversant with little things of taking 
" offence, and of being swallowed up as it were by the great- 
" ness of his discoui'se, or if he transfers one who is only an 
" operative to speculation, and leads him away by occasion of a 
" momentary faith [which has no solid grounds in his mind to 
" rest upon.]" 1 

Of this Tradition Clement professes to give in his Stromata 
some account, though not of the whole of it, concealing some 
part intentionally, as too profound for common ears, and deli- 
vering the rest so that a common reader would not understand 
its full Gnostic sense, 2 and, moreover, acknowledging that some 
part of what had been delivered to him had escaped his recol- 
lection, not being committed to writing, and other parts par- 
tially obliterated by the lapse of time, a tolerably good proof of 
the insufficiency of oral tradition for the conveyance of truth. 
But we will quote his own words. 

After stating that he is about to deliver the Tradition which 
he had been taught by his Christian instructors, he adds, — 
" But I well know, that many things have escaped us, having 
" by the length of time fallen from my recollection, being un- 
' c written; whence, in order to assist the weakness of my memory, 
" and supply myself with a systematic exposition of the prin- 
" cipal points, as a useful record for keeping them in remem- 
" brance, I have found it necessary to use this delineation of 
w them. There are indeed some things which I do not recollect, 
a for there was in those blessed men great power. And there 
" are some things which remained unnoted for some time, and 

1 \va oiiv fxr) rts tovtoiv e/j.Trtawi' eij t))v vwb aov StSaaKO/xfyriv yvSxriv, a.Kparr)S 
yev6)JLtvos rrjs aKridelas, irapaKovari re Kcd irapa.Trea~n, aa<pa\Tis, <pi}crl, rrepl rr]y 
XpT)(Tiv tov \6yov yii/ov xa.1 vrpbs [xkv tom aKoyuis irpofflouTas, aintaAeie t^v 
(cc<Ta.v eV /3d6ei irT\yr\v irorby Se upeye rots aK-qQeias SeSixlnqicocriv. 'EirtKpvTrT6/xevos 
5 ovv irpbs tovs oi>x o'lovs Tf ovTas irapaS^affOat rb &d$os ttjs yvwcrtws, KaTaicd- 
AV7TT6 rbv Xclkkov. 'O Kvpws ovv tov \clkkov, 6 yv(, avrbs £T7fua>07?<reTai, 
<pi)ff\, tt)v alriav virex^v tov (ruavSaXicrdevTos, f\Toi KaTairoOevTos t$ fj.tye8ei tov 
\6yov, fi.iKpo\6yov sti ovtos- ^ fJLeTaKivfjffas Tbv ipyd.TT)v iwl t))v Bewpiav, Kai airo- 
ffTijaas 5ia irpocpdaews T/jj avToa-xtS'iov iricrretos. Ix>. Strom, lib. v. § 8. p. 678. 
(or, 573.) 

2 Id. Stom. lib. i. pp. 323, 4 ; (or, 275) ; and, lib. vii. p. 901 ; (or, 766) ; and 
Bee lib. i. p. 326. (or, 278.) 


" which have now escaped me ; and some things are nearly ob- 
" literated from my memory, perishing in my own mind, since 
" such a service is not easy to those who are not experienced. 
" But reviving the recollection of these things in my writings, 
" I purposely omit some things, making a prudent choice, 
" fearing to write what I even speak with caution and reserve ; 
" not in the spirit of envy, for that would be unjust ; but, 
" fearing for my readers, lest by any means they should other- 
" wise be made to fall, and we should be found putting, as 
" those who speak in proverbs say, a sword into the hands of a 
« child." 1 

Now certainly our opponents have here a patron not only of 
Oral Tradition, but also of " reserve in the communication of 
religious knowledge," but, unfortunately for their cause, not 
the sort of Tradition for which they are contending. The 
notion of this Gnostic Tradition, delivered only by our Lord to 
three or four of the Apostles, and disclosing certain hidden 
meanings of the truths and doctrines of Christianity not in- 
tended for Christians in general, is one of which Clement is, out 
of those whose writings remain to us, almost the only supporter. 

Nay, his statements on this point are directly opposed to 
those of Irenseus and Tertullian, who both inveigh strongly 
against any such notion. The former speaks of it as a tenet of 
the Carpocratian heretics, who, he tells us, " said, that Jesus 
" spoke some things privately in a mysterious manner to his 
" disciples and Apostles, and commanded them to deliver those 
" things to those that were worthy and obedient." 2 And he 

1 noAAa Se, e3 olSa, irapeppvi)Kev rjfias XP& V0V M^ K6t aypd<pais StaTtea&VTa. 
"08eu rb aoQeves rr)s fivr\fir\s rr}s efirjs imKov<pifav, Ke<pa\atwv <Tv<TTr)fiaTiKv,v 
<ek6(ctiv, fivr)fir\s inrofimjfia auiTr\ptov iroplfav efiavrip, avayitaius /cexP'JM " r V$ e T V 
vTroTviraxret. "Effri fiev ohv rtva fir)8e airofivrffiovevdevra r)fitv TroWrf yap 7] irapa 
rots fianapiots Swafits r)v auSpdo-tv effri Se /cat avviroo-i\fie'twra fiefievifKora rep 
Xp6vy a vvv aneSpT.- ra Se, '6cra eafievvvro, ev avrrj fiapatvofieva rrj Stavota, ertet 
fir) f>dStos r) rotdSe StaKOvia rols fir) SeSoKtfiafffievots, ravra Se avafarrvpwir vrro- 
fivr)fiao , t, ra fief eKuf, enKeyoif erttffrr]fi6fus, (pofiovfiefos ypa<petf, 
a koX Keyetf e<pv\a%dfir]v ov rt rrou (bdovGiv ov yap Befits' SeStws Se &pa nep\ ru>v 
evrvyxav6vTwv, fir) izrf erepecs ff<pa\etef, Kal rratSl fiaxatpaf, fj <pao~tv oi Trapot- 
fita(6fievot, bpeyovres eupeOwfiev. Id. Strom, lib. i. § 1. p. 324. (or, 276.) 

2 'Ef Se rots ffuyy pdfifiacrif avrSif o'vrws avayeypairrai, Ka\ avrol ovruis ^£tj- 
yowrat, rbf \r\aovf Keyovres ef fivarripicf) ro~is fia6r)ra7s avrov Kal 'ATtoo~r6Kots 


savs, " That Paul taught plainly what he knew, not only to his 
" companions, but to all who heard him, he himself manifests. 
" For, in Miletus, the bishops and presbyters being assembled, 
"... he says, ( I have not shunned to declare to you the whole 
" counsel of God.' Thus, the Apostles plainly and willingly 
" delivered to all those things which they had themselves 
" learned from the Lord." 1 And again, he says, "The doc- 
" trine of the Apostles is manifest, and firm, and conceals no- 
" thing, and is not that of men who teach one thing in secret 
" and another openly. For this is the contrivance of counter- 
" feits, and seducers, and hypocrites, as the Valentinians do." 2 

And thus Tertullian ; — "All the sayings of the Lord are 
proposed to all." 3 And he accuses those of "madness," who 
" think that the Apostles did not reveal all things to all, but 
" that they committed some things openly to all, without exception, 
" and some secretly to a few."* 

Most justly, therefore, is this notion of Clement, as to a 
secret Tradition reserved for a few, pronounced by a learned 
prelate of our Church, who is referred to with approbation by 
our opponents, to be " destitute of solid foundation." 3 

And the reserve recommended, is a reserve only in communi- 

kclt' IS'iav \f\a\TiKevai, Kal avrobs a^iuxrai, reus allots Kal roiis Treidofxevois ravra 
■rrapaSiSofaL. Iee>\ Adv. Hasr. lib. i. c. 25. ed. Mass. 1710. p. 104. (ed. Grab. i. 
24, p. 101.) 

1 " Quoniam autem Paulus simpliciter quae sciebat bsec et docuit, non solum 
eos qui cum eo erant, verum omnes audientes se, ipse facit manifestum. In 
Mileto Emm convocatis Episcopis et Presbyteris. . . . ' Xon subtraxi,' inquit, 'uti 
non annuueiarem omnem sententiam Dei vobis.' Sic Apostoli simpliciter, et 
nemini invideutes, qua? didicerant ipsi a Domino, haec omnibus tradebant." Id. 
ib. lib. iii. c. 14. pp. 201, 202. (p. 235.) 

2 " Doctrina Apostolorum manifesta, et firma, et nihil subtrahens, neque alia 
quidem in abscondito, alia vero in manifesto docentium. Hoc enim fictorum, et 
prave seducentium, et hypoeritarum est molimen, quemadmodum faciunt hi, qui 
a Valentino sunt." Id. ib. c. 15. p. 203. (p. 237.) 

s " Omnia quidem dicta Domini omnibus posita sunt." Teeixle. De Prse- 
script. ha-ret. c. 8. Op. ed. 1664. p. 205. 

4 "Eadem dementia est, cum confitentur quidem nihil Apostolos ignorasse, nee 
diversa inter Be pra-dicasse, non tamen omnia volant illos omnibus revelasse, qua 1 - 
il.nn enim palam et universis, qua-darn Becreto et panels demandasse." Teetell. 
De Pra-script ha-ret. c. 25. p 210. 

6 Uisiiop Kate's Account of the writings and opinions of Clement of Alex- 
andria, eh. 8. p. 368. 


eating this Gnostic Tradition, not in preaching the great doc- 
trines of Christianity ; and one which even to this limited extent 
is entirely opposed, as we have shown, to the views of Irenseus 
and Tertullian. 

At any rate, as this Gnostic Tradition is confessedly delivered 
by Clement so that the uninitiated cannot avail themselves of 
it, his writings will not serve to show us its true nature; and 
unless our opponents can lay claim to the possession of the key 
which unlocks this treasure, his Tradition, and his notions re- 
specting it, are to us equally useless and inapplicable. The 
knowledge of the profundities of this Tslystic Tradition is gone, 
and with it the applicability to any practical purpose of all that 
is said respecting it. 

But, with this exception, he speaks agreeably to the view we 
have been attempting to establish, as I shall now proceed to 
show. For, 

First, he acknowledges no divine informant but Scripture, 
and this supposed Gnostic Tradition. 

Secondly, with respect to the claims of Scripture, as the Rule 
of faith, he speaks thus. 

" He, therefore," he says, " who believes the divine Scriptures 
" with a firm conviction, receives an incontrovertible demonstra- 
" tion, namely, the voice of God, who gave the Scriptures." l 

Again ; " But the just shall live by faith ; that faith, namely, 
" which is according to the Testament and the commandments ; 
" since these [Testaments], which are two as it respects name 
" and time, having been given, by a wise ceconomy, according 
" to age and proficiency, are one in effect. Both the Old and 
" the New were given by one God, through the Son."- 

Again ; " But, since a happy life is set before us by the com- 
" mandments, it behoves us all to follow it, not disobeying 
" anything that is said, nor lightly esteeming what is becoming, 

1 'O TncrTivcras roivvv reus Tpatyais reus Be'iats, t)]V Kpicrif f}e{ij.lav ex a "'> 
a.Tr68et£iv avavrlp^riTov, r\\v rov tox Tpacpas SeS'j)pr)/j.efOV (puvrjf Aa.ujSwei 0eoD. 
Id. Strom, lib. ii. § 2. p. 433. (or, 362.) 

2 'O 5e o'ikcuos e/c iri<TTeci>s fjjceTai, tt)s koto. tt}v AiaOriK^v Kai Tas tvToXaf 
ftretSr] Svo clutch ovS/mciti kcu xp^ y V> Ka @ > V^-iitiay Kal TrpoKOTrrjv oikovo/aikus SeSo- 
fxevat, Svvd/xet fxla oicrar t\ /use, ira\aid' T) Se, kolivti, 5ia vlov Trap" kvbs 0«oiJ 
XopyyouvTai. Id. Strom, lib. ii. § 6. p. -itl. (or, 372.) 



" though of the most trifling nature, but following whithersoever 
" the word may lead ; if we err from it, we must necessarily fall 
" into endless evil. But they who follow the divine Scripture, 
" by which believe? s walk, that they may become, as far as they 
" can, like the Lord, ought not to live carelessly, but," &C. 1 

Again, he tells us, that for those who, " for the benefit of 
" their neighbours, betake themselves, some to writing, and 
" others to the oral delivery of the word, while learning of 
" another kind is useful, the perusal of the Dominical Scriptures 
" is necessary for the proof of what they say." 2 

And in the seventh book of his Stromata, replying to the 
objection of the heathen to Christianity, on the ground of its 
followers being divided into so many sects, he says, — " But 
" when proof is being given, it is necessary to descend to the 
" particular questions, and to learn demonstratively, from the 
" Scriptures themselves, how, on the one hand, the sects were 
" deceived, and how, on the other, both the most perfect know- 
" ledge, and that which is in reality the best sect, are in the 
" truth alone and the antient Church." 3 

Nor let it be supposed, that by the words " the antient 
Church," he says anything opposed to our views ; for, by that 
phrase, he means the Church under the Apostles ; as is evident, 
not only by the time when he wrote, but from his own words a 
little further on. 4 

Again, he says, — " They who are willing to labour for the 
" acquisition of those things which are of the greatest excellence, 

1 'Ewtl 5e filos tIs tj/juv fxaKapios Si tvTo\£>v i-KiSiSuKraf <j> xph irdyras eiro- 
fj.evovs, fxT) irapaKOiiovTas tbc eipr)/Afvwv rivbs, ^njSe 6\iywpovvTas rcov irpoffr^KOVTicv, 
xav iX&xwrov 77, eireadai p av 6 A6yos rjyrjrar d a<pa\i'n)ixiv ai/Tov, adavdrw 
ko.k<£ irepnreaelv avdyKT)' KaraKoAovBriaaai Se rrj 8(la Tpa(pfj, Si' 'OS oSevovcriv 01 
■nemcrTevKOTes, QoixoiovffQai Kara Swafj.iv t$ Kvpiai, ouk aSiacpdptas /Sicdtcov, d\\a 
k. t. \. Id. Strom, lib. iii. § 5. p. 530. (or, 443.) 

" Aio 5e ttjv twv 7rtA.cs axpfAfiav, twv fxev, iirl rb ypdcpeiv lefxiviiiv tu>v 5e, 
iir\ rb TrapaSiSSvai (TrtXKofxtvoov rbv \6yov tJtc SaAt) iraiSela xpVT'H-OSi t)t« rSiv 
ypa<pu>v ru>v KvpiaKcov avayvuxris eis diroSn^iv twv Aeyo/xevwv ava.yK.aia. Id. Strom, 
lib. vi. § 11. p. 786. (or, 660.) 

3 'AiroSei^toos 8' ovcrrfs, avayKt) avyKarafiaiveiv tls ras ^r t rriaeis, Kal Si avTwv 
twv ypaipwv (Kfiavddveiv anoSeiKTiKws, ottws /xev airecnpaATja'aj' al alpttrtis, ottws 
5e iv p.6vr) rrj a\7)8eiq, Ka\ rrj apxa'ia. E/ckAtjctio, 7?Te aKptPeo-Tarri yvaxris, Kal r) 
t$ 6vti apiari) a'tptais. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 15. p. 888. (or, 755). 

* Id. Strum, lib. vii. § 17. pp- 898, 9. (or 764, 5.) 


" will not desist from their search for truth, before they have 
" received a proof from the Scriptures themselves." l 

And again, — " Thus, therefore, we, giving perfect proof 
" respecting the Scriptures, from the Scriptures themselves, 
" believe through faith with demonstrative evidence." 3 

" The truth," he says, .... "is found, by considering atten- 
" tively what is perfectly proper and becoming for the Lord and 
" the Almighty God, and by continuing each of the things de- 
" monstrated by the Scriptures from like Scriptures." 3 

And a little further on his language clearly shows, that he 
appealed to the Scripture alone as the Rule and Judge of 
controversies, in disputing with those who differed from him, 
where he says, — " When we have overthrown them by demon- 
" strating that they are clearly opposed to the Scriptures, you will 
" see the leaders of the doctrine opposed, do one of two things ; 
" for either they give up the consequence of their own doctrines, 
" or the prophecy itself, or rather their own hope." 4 

" They," he says, " who do not follow God whithersoever 
" he may lead them, fall away from that exalted state [which 
" he has been describing] ; and God leads by the divinely- 
" inspired Scriptures." 5 

' 'AAA' ol irovilv 'iroijxoi eVl rols KaWlcrrots, oit irp6repov atroarrjaovrai 
forovvres r))v aX^deiay, irplv ay rrjy air68et^iy ctar' avrwy Aa/3cotrt rSiv ypacpuv. 
Id. Strom lib. vii. § 16. p. 889. (or, 755.) 

2 Oi/tcos oiiv Kai 7][j.eis air' avrwv irepl avrwv rSiv ypa<p&v re\eioos airoSetKVvvres 
e'/c niffTeois Trsi86/j.s0a. an-oSeiKriKus. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. p. 891. (or, 757.) See 
also the preceding context of this passage,— Tfj rov Kvpiov <pcouy ■n-io-rovfj.eda. 
rb (ijrov/xeyov $j izacraiv airodei^ewv ex e yy va>T *P a i M^- Ao ' / Se, $) fioyr) a7ro5ei|ts 
ovcra rvyyjxvti.. But as the meaning of the phrase Kvpiov (puivrj is con- 
tested, I shall not here press this testimony ; though I have the authority of 
Bishop Kate (Account of writings, &c. of Clement of Alexandria, p. 219) for 
interpreting the phrase as meaning the Scriptures, — which renders the passage a 
remarkably strong testimony in our favor. 

3 'H aKrjOaa 8e . . . tvpio~Kzrai ... iv rep SiaffKeipairOai ri rip Kvpicp Kai 
to! iravroKparopi ®e$ re\ela>s oIkMv re Kai irpeirov icav r<p fSefiaiovv eKaarov ruv 
anob'eiKvvfj.evwv Kara ras ypa<pas, e'£ avrwv iraAtv rwv ofiolwv ypa<pwv. Id. Strom, 
lib. vii. § 16. p. 891. (or, 758.) 

4 'EireiSav yap avarpeiraivrai irpbs rjjxwv, SetKvvvrcov avrovs cra<pus ivavrtovfievovs 
ra?s ypa<pa7s, Svo7v darepov virb rwv irpotffrwrwv rov S6yfJ.aros iari OeaaraaOai 
yivd/xtvov t) yap tt)s aKoAovdlas rwv cr<perepwv SoyfJ-drwv, $) rrjs irpo<p7ireias 
avrrjs, fjiaAAov Si ri)s kavrwv iAirlSos Kara<ppovovcriv. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. 
p. 892. (or, 758.) 

5 'Airoiriirrovcnv &pa rovSe rod vtyovs, ol /u-Jj (irSfxevoi Qef, eav (rj ay Potter) 

E 2 


From these passages, I think, it is evident, that the Holy- 
Scriptures were proposed by Clement, as the authoritative 
Rule of faith and Judge of controversies for all Christians, 
and to all but his Gnostic Christian, the sole and exclusive 
llule and Judge. 

Unless, then, our opponents are willing to contend for his 
notions about a Gnostic Tradition, delivered to four of the 
Apostles, and left as a deposit with certain rabbies of the Church 
for the benefit of a few mature Christians, 1 they will derive no 
benefit from Clement's testimony on this matter. 

Moreover, notwithstanding his notions about a Gnostic Tra- 
dition, it is evident, that he considered it to be only an exposition 
of Scripture, and not as containing any additional doctrines or 
points of faith ; for he says ; — " We offer them that which cannot 
" be contradicted, even that of which God is the author ; and of 
" each one of those things which form the subject of our inquiries, 
" he has taught us in the Scriptures." 2 

And it is clear from many passages, that he considered the 
Gnostic Tradition as only explanatory of Scripture, and not 
as adding to it any new points of faith. Thus, he says, when 
about to give a description of the Christian faith, — " We shall 
" bring testimonies from the Scriptures hereafter, in their 
" proper places ; but we shall give what they deliver, and 
" describe the Christian faith (or Christianity) in a summary 
" way .... and if what we say should appear to any of the 
" vulgar contrary to the Dominical Scriptures, they must know, 
" that, from that source, they have their breath and life ; and 
" taking their origin from them, profess to give the sense only, 
" not the words." 3 

So, also, he intimates elsewhere, that the Gnostic Tradition de- 

TjyTJTai' 7)-y •eiTou 8e /caret ras Oeoirvevarovs ypacpds. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. p. 894. 
(or, 761.) 

1 See Strom, lib. vii. § 10. pp. 864, 5. (or, 731, 2.) 

2 TlpoTeivoiJ.zj' yap <xvtchs dvavrl^r]Tov (KeTvo, h 6 ®e6s icrriv 6 \iywv, Kal vepl 
evbs enaffrov 3>v iiri&iTci, Trapicrrds 4yypd(pas. Id. Strom, lib. v. § 1. p. 646. 
(or, 547.) 

3 Kara tovs tniKalpovs tSttovs vffrepov tcus ypa<pcus crvyxpv^^^f 01 ' Ta 8' e| 
avTcou Srj\ov/xeua at]p.avo\j\xiv KecpaAcuaScos rbv y_picm.avi.<T\x)}v viroypdfpovTes . . . 
ko.v erepota rial twv ttoAXuv KaTafpaivqrai. to v<p' 7]fj.cL'i/ \ey6fxeva ru>y KvpiaKwv 
ypa<pcov. IffTtov tin iice76ev avmrve? re icj.1 Qjj, Kal ras dtpopfias aV avrwu ex o,/Ta > 



livered only things " agreeable to the divinely-inspired oracles." * 
And that " the Gnostic knows antient things, and conjectures 
things to come, by the Scriptures." 3 

Hence, he says, that " they who have only tasted the Scrip- 
" tures, are believers ; but they who have advanced further are 
" perfect indexes of the truth, namely, the Gnostics, as, in things 
" pertaining to this life, those who understand any art, possess 
" something more than the ignorant, and produce that which is 
" superior to the* ideas of the vulgar." 3 

It is evident, therefore, that, (as the learned prelate already 
quoted has observed,) — " The same Scriptures were placed in 
" the hands of Clement's Gnostic, and of the common believer ; 
" but he interpreted them on different principles; he affixed 
" to them a higher and more spiritual meaning. The same 
" doctrines were proposed as the objects of his faith ; but he ex- 
" plained them in a different manner ; he discovered in them 
" hidden meanings, which are not discernible by the vulgar 

eye." 4 

Hippolytus the Martyr, (fl. a. 220.) 

I pass on to a venerable and much-esteemed name, Hip- 
polytus the Martyr, who thus bears his testimony on all the 
great points in question. 

" There is one God, of whom, brethren, we have no knowledge, 
" but from the Holy Scriptures. For as, if any one should wish 
" to cultivate the wisdom of this world, he will not be able to 
" obtain it otherwise than by reading the doctrines of the philo- 
" sophers ; in the same way, as many of us as would cultivate reli- 
" gion, shall not be able to learn it anywhere else than from the 

rbv vow fi6vov, oh tt}v \e£tv irapicrTav iirayyiWrirai. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 1. 
p. 829. (or, 699, 700.) 

1 Ta irpoff<pvy) toIs Beoiri/evo'Tois \6yois inrb toiv [laKaploov 'Awo(Tt6\oiv re Kal 
SiSaffKaXcoi/ irapab'ib'Sfxeva. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. p. 896. (or. 762.) 

2 'O yvaio~TiKbs yap olSev Kara tt]V yptupty ra dpxaTa, Kal to. fj.e\\ovTa etKa^et. 
Id. Strom, lib. vi. § 11. p. 786. (or, 660.) See also lib. vi. § 15. p. 802. (or, 676.) 

3 Ot /xfv cwoyevad/xeuot ix6vov tuiv ypacptuv, Tn<n6c ol 5e ica\ Trpoffairfpcn x^'P'h' 
aavTts, aKpifSils yvoifxovis rrjs dAtjdftas virdpxovatv, ol yvdio-TtKoi- iirtl k&v toTs 
Kara rbv fiiov €xovai ri irAeov ol rex ,/ ' iral T ^" / iSuoruv, Kal napa ras KOU>as tvvoias 
(KTvwovo-i to $4\tiop. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. p. 891. (or, 757.) 

4 13i>. Kaye's Account &c. of Clem, of Alex pp. 1367, 8. 


" oracles of God. Whatsoever, therefore, the divine writings pro- 
" claim, let us observe ; and whatsoever they teach, let us make 
" ourselves acquainted with ; and let us believe in the Father, as 
" the Father wills to be believed in ; and let us glorify the Son, as 
" he wills that the Son should be glorified ; and let us receive the 
" Holy Spirit, as he wills that the Holy Spirit should be given. 
" Not [viewing these things] according to our own preconceived 
" prejudices, nor according to our own notions, nor putting a 
" forced construction upon what God has delivered, but according 
" to the form which he purposed to point out to us by the Holy 
u Scriptures, thus let us view it." l 

Origen. (fl. a. 230.) 

Our next witness shall be Origen. And nothing can be 
more to the point, than the passage we have quoted from him 
above, in illustration of another question, where he says, — " To 
" me it seems good to cleave close, as to God and our Lord Jesus 
" Christ, so also to his Apostles, and to take my information from 
11 the divine Scriptures, according to their own tradition." 2 

Again ; — " These two things are the works of a priest ; that 
" he should either be learning from God, by reading and frequently 
" meditating upon the divine Sa'iptures, or be teaching the people. 
" But let him teach those things which he himself shall have learnt 
" from God, not from his own heart, or from the human under - 
" standing, but what the Holy Spirit teaches." 3 

1 Efs ®ebs, bv ovk a\\o8ei> tiny ivtao-KOfxev, dSe\<pol, % [e'/c] rwv aylaiv ypa<pwu. 
*Ov yap rp6irov £dv tis ^ov\rj6rj tt;j/ o~o(piav rov al&vos tovtov clckuv, ovk &Wws 
Sw-iicreTai tovtov tvx^v, tav jut; S6y/j.a(ri <pi\o<r6(pwi' evrvxy, tov avrbv Zi) rp6irov 
oaoi 6eoo-e&eiai> d<TKeiv @ov\6[j.e8a, ovk a\Ko8ev do-K^ao/xev t) e/c ra>v Koyiwv rov 
Qeov. "Ova to'ivvv Kt\p\iaaov(nv aX 8Ciai ypa<pal, ffiwftei', Kal oaa SiSdo-Kovaiv, 
tmyvufxev, Kal is 0eAei irarrip wto-reveo-Bat, Tno-TevffajfJ.ev, Kal <Ls 0eA.ei vlhv 5o£a- 
(eaOai, So^daa>fj.ey, Kal &s 8e\ei irvev/jia aywv 5wp(7a8ai, XaPw^v. Mi) tear ISiav 
irpoaiptffiv, fx.7]Si Kar XSiov vovv, fxr)b~e /SiaC^uevoi tk vrrb rod Qeov BeSo/xeva, aAA' 
ov rpSirov avrbs (fiov\-l)8r) b~ia twv ayloov ypa<pwv 5eT£ai, ovtcos XSaififv. HlPPOL. 
Makt. Homil. contra Noet. § 9. Op. ed. Fabric. 1716—1718. vol. ii. pp. 12, 13. 

2 See p. 3 above. 

3 "Hwc duo sunt pontificis opera; ut aut a Deo discat legendo Scripturas 
divinas, ct ssepius nieditando, aut popidum doceat. Sed ilia doceat, qua 1 ipse a 
Deo didiccrit, uon ex proprio corde, vol ex lnunano sensu, Bed quae Spiritus Sanctus 
docet." Obigen. In Lcvit. bom. G. § G. Op. ed. Ben. Paris. 1733 ct seep 
torn. ii. p. 219. 


" We must take the Scriptures as witnesses [to prove the 
" truth of what we say] . For our doctrines and interpretations 
" without such witness, are not to be believed." ] 

" If the oracles of God are in the Lav; and Prophets and Gospels 
" and Apostles, it will behove one who has been taught by the 
" oracles of God, to reckon God his master." 2 

Speaking of our Saviour silencing the Sadducees by a refer- 
ence to Scripture, he says, — " As our Saviour imposed silence 
" on the Sadducees by the word of his doctrine, and confidently 
u refuted the false dogma which they esteemed to be the truth, so 
" will the followers of Christ also do by instances from the 
" Scriptures, to which, according to sound doctrine, it behoves 

" every voice of Pharaoh to submit in silence We 

" ought to treat of those things that are not written, according 
" to the things that are written." 3 

Again ; — St. Paul, " as is his custom, is desirous of confirming 
" what he had said from the Holy Scriptures ; and at the same 
" time affords an example to the teachers of the Church, that in 
" what they preach to the people, they should bring forward not 
" their own imaginations, but things that are supported by the 
" divine testimonies." 4 Similarly to what he says elsewhere, that 
" he is circumcised and clean, who always speaks the word of 
" God, and brings forward sound doctrine, supported by Evan- 
" gelical and Apostolical admonitions." 5 

1 Maprvpas 5e? A.a/3e?e ras ypa<pas' dfj-dprvpoi yap a! eVi/SoAa} fj/xaiy Kal at 
ifayrifffis a/riffroi slaty. Id. In Jerem. horn. 1. § 7. torn. iii. p. 129. 

2 E» Qeov \6ytd iffrtv iv N^uij), Kal l\po<\>-t]Tais, JLuayyekiots re Ka\ 'h-KO<nohois, 
Secret rbv /jLadrirevo/xevov 0«oO Aoyiois SiddaKaAov iTnypd<p€<r9ai Qe6v. Id. In 
Jerem. horn. 10. init. (sec. Hieron. hom. 8.) torn. iii. p. 182. 

3 " Sicut Salvator verbo doctrinae suae silentium irnposuit Sadducteis, et falsuin 
dogma, quod apud illos Veritas putabatur, convicit fiduciaUter; sic facient et 
Christi imitatores exemplis scripturanvm, quibus oportet, secundmn sacram doc- 
trinam, omnem vocem obmutescere Pbaraonis. . . . Secundum ea enim qua) scripta 
sunt, tractare debemus et ea qua) scripta non sunt." Id. In Matt. Comment. 
Series, § 1. (al. Tract. 23.) torn. iii. p. 830. 

* " Ut ei moris est, de Scripturis Sanctis vult affirmare quod dixerat : simul et 
doctoribus Ecclesia? praebet exemplum, ut ea qua? loquuntur ad populum non 
propriis praesumpta sententiis, sed divinis munita testimoniis proferant." Id. In 
Epist. ad Rom. lib. iii. § 2. torn. iv. p. 501. 

5 " Circuincisus et nmudus est, qui semper verbum Dei loquitur, et sacram 
doctiinam Evangelicis et Apostolicis munitam rogidis profert." Id. In Genes, 
bom. iii. § 5. torn. ii. p. 69. 


" See/' he says, " how close they are upon danger, who 
" neglect to be versed in the divine Scriptures, which alone ought 
" to direct our judgment in such an examination," that is, as to 
who are true and who are false ministers of Christ. 1 

A very remarkable testimony this as it respects other points 
in the present controversy, beside that immediately before us. 
For we here see, that the Scriptures are considered by Origen 
as the proper test of orthodoxy and the true Church. And 
herice we see what is meant by those passages that are often 
triumphantly adduced in defence of pseudo-catholic views, such 
for instance as the following, — " It is a capital sin," says Origen, 
"to think otherwise of the divine doctrines than the faith of 
"the Church contains." 2 No doubt it is; but it is not here 
intended, that the dictum of any certain body of men should be 
laid down as the ground upon which our faith is to rest. It is 
true in the mouth of all parties, that he who in fundamental 
points does not hold the faith of the true Church of Christ is 
in fundamental error. But before we can make the creed of 
that Church the ground of our faith, we must determine infal- 
libly who constitute that Church, and one of the necessary evi- 
dences by which we must discern that Church, is its holding the 
orthodox faith, which therefore must be determined before we 
can discover that Church. And when we consider these words 
in connection with him who uttered them, we shall see most 
forcibly how little practical meaning they have. For what sort 
of exposition would Origen have given of the doctrines of the 
Church ? An exposition unsound even in the highest points, 
and full (as Jerome will tell us 3 ) of his own vagaries. 

Further, Holy Scripture is with him the complete Rule of 
faith. For, commenting on Lev. vii. 17, 18, on the words that 
the sacrifice was to be eaten within two days, and that if any 

1 " Unde vide quain proximi periculo fiant hi qui exerceri in divinis Uteris 
negligunt, ex quibus solis hujusmodi examinations agnoscenda discretio est." 
Id. In Ep. ad Rom. lib. x. § 35. torn. iv. p. 684. And he says elsewhere, — "Divi- 
nare magis est quam explanare, ubi quod dicitur non de Scripturarum auctoritnte 
niunitnr." In Exod. hom. xiii. § 2. torn. ii. p. 176. 

2 "Capitis peccatum est, aliter quam fides Ecelesiae continet de divinis sentiie 
dogmatibus." In. In Levit. hom. vih. § 11. torn. ii. p. 235. 

3 See the notes in vol. i. pp. 217, 18 and p. 221 of this work. 


remained to the third day it was to be burnt, he says ; — " By 
" these two days I think that the two Testaments may be under- 
" stood, in which every word which belongs to God (for this is 
" the sacrifice) may be sought and discovered, and a knowledge of 
" all things obtained from them. But if anything shall remain 
u which the Divine Scripture does not determine, no other third 
" scripture must be taken as an authority for our information, 
" because this is called the third day, but we must put into the 
" fire what remains, that is, we must leave it with God. For God 
" does not intend that in the present life we should know all things 

" Lest, therefore, our sacrifice should not be accepted, 

" and this very thing, namely, that we desire to inform ourselves 
" from the divine Scriptures, become to us a cause of sin, let us 
" keep ourselves within those limits which the spiritual law an- 
" nounces to us by the legislator." l Absurdly fanciful as this 
interpretation is, it shows most forcibly Origen's views upon 
the point now in question. 

Again ; — " Therefore in proof of all the words we utter when 
" teaching, we ought to produce the doctrine of Scripture as 
" confirming the doctrine we utter. For, as all the gold that 
" is without the temple is not sanctified, so every doctrine that 
' ' is not in the divine Scripture, although it may seem admirable 
" to some, is not sacred, because it is not comprehended within 
" the doctrine of Scripture, which sanctifies that doctrine alone 
" which it contains within itself, as the temple [renders sacred] 
" the gold that is in it. We ought not, therefore, for the con- 
" firmation of our instructions, to swear by and take as evidence 
" our own notions, which we individually hold, and think to be 
" agreeable to truth, unless we are able to show, that they are 

1 " In hoc biduo puto duo Testaruenta posse intelligi, in quibus liceat omne 
verbura quod ad Deum pertinet, (hoc enini est sacrificiuin,) requiri et discuti, 
atque ex ipsis omneni rerum scientiam capi. Si quid autem superfuerit, quod non 
divina Seriptura decernat, nullum aliam tertiam scripturani debere ad auctoritatem 
scientise suscipi, quia ha?c dies tertia nominatur, sed igni tradamus quod supercst, 
id est Deo reservemus. Xeque enim in prsesenti vita Deus scire nos omnia voluit 
... Ne forte ergo non fiat acceptum sacrificium nostrum, et hoc ipsum, quod ex 
divinis Scriptoria cupimus scientiam capere, vertatur nobis in peccatum, servemus 
cas mensuras quas nobis per legislatorem lex spiritalis enunciat." Id. In Levit. 
horn. v. § 9. torn. ii. p. 212. 


" sacred, as being contained in the divine Scriptures as in some 
"temples of God." 1 

And hence, when discussing the question concerning the 
guardian angels of children, at what period they are appointed 
to them, at their birth or baptism, he says, (if the antient Latin 
version may be trusted,) — "You see, that it is the duty of one 
" who would discuss both of them with caution, to show which 
" of them is true, and to adduce in proof Scripture-testimony 
" agreeing with one of the two." 2 

To the strong testimony given in favor of our position in 
the above passages, I know of no drawback, except what may 
be supposed to arise from his language when delivering the 
Creed of the Church, already quoted from him in a previous 
page. 3 Of this Creed he speaks as having been delivered by 
the Apostles, and "remaining up to that time in the Churches ;" 
and says, that " that alone was to be held as the truth, which 
" in no respect disagreed with the ecclesiastical and Apostolical 
" Tradition." 4 And elsewhere, arguing against the heresies of 
Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, and others, he says, — " But we 
" ought not to believe them, nor to depart from the original 
" and ecclesiastical Tradition, nor to believe otherwise than 
" according to what the Churches of God have by succession 
" delivered to us." 5 

1 " Debeinus ergo ad testimonium omnium verborum quae proferimus in doc- 
trina, proferre sensum Scripturae quasi confirmantem quern exponimus sensum. 
Sicut enim omne aurum quod fuerit extra templum non est sanctiiicatum, sic 
omnis sensus qui fuerit extra divinam Scripturam, quamvis admirabilis videatur 
quibusdam, non est sanctus, quia non continetur a sensu Scriptural qua? solet 
eum solum sensum sanctificare quem babet in se, sicut templum proprium aurum. 
Non ergo debemus ad confirmandam doctrinam nostram nostros proprios intel- 
lectus jurare, et quasi testimonia assumere, quos unusquisque nostrum intelligit, 
et secundum veritatem existmiat esse, ni ostenderit eos sanctos esse, ex eo quod in 
Scripturis continentur divinis quasi in templis quibusdam Dei." Id. In Matt. 
Comment. Series, § 18. (al. Tract. 23.) torn. iii. p. 842. 

2 " Vides quoniam qui caute utrumque discusserit, illius est affirmaro utrum 
eorum sit verum, et ad testimonium proferre Scripturam uni ex duobus consen- 
tientem." Id. In Mattb. torn. xiii. § 27. sec. vet. interpret, torn. iii. p. 607. 

3 See vol. i. pp. 216—20. 

4 " Cum multi suit, qui se putant scntire quae Christi sunt, et nonnulli eorum 
diversa a prioribus sentiant, servetur vero ecclesiastica praedicatio per successionis 
ordinem ab Apostolis tradita, et usque ad praesens in ecclesiis pcrmanens : ilia sola 
credenda est Veritas, quae in millo ab ecclesiastica et apostobca discordat traditione." 
Id. De princip. lib. i. Prsef. § 2. torn. i. p. 17. 

* " Sed noa illis credere non debemus, nee exire a prima et eccl es iastica tra- 


Now from these words it no doubt follows, that for the truth 
of the doctrines contained in that Creed he considered that 
there was proof, independent of Scripture, in the consentient 
teaching of the Apostolical Churches. 

But first let us consider, to what points this Creed, for which 
the consent of the Apostolical Churches is challenged by 
Origen, extends. Hardly to one of the points in controversy 
in the present day. How, then, can the authority of Origen 
be now pleaded for a reference to " Tradition " in proof of 
points for which he does not challenge the evidence of Tradition 
in his own day ? He professes to give in this Creed the whole 
of that for which the consent of the Apostolical Churches could 
be claimed. We cannot, then, quote him as sanctioning an 
appeal to " Tradition " on other points. 

Moreover, he gives no intimation that these points are not all 
fully and clearly delivered in Scripture, but, on the contrary, 
his language in other places shows, that he was altogether op- 
posed to any such notion. 

Further ; his appeal is of a totally different nature from any 
that can be made now. His comparative proximity to the times 
of the Apostles, made his reference to the testimony then borne 
by the Apostolical Churches altogether different from a reference 
in the present day to the witness of the works accidentally re- 
maining to us of a few antient authors. His statements, there- 
fore, fall far short of affording any countenance to the theory 
of the Romanists or the Tractators. On the contrary, when 
taken as a whole, and viewed with reference to the present day, 
they will, I think, be considered by an impartial reader clearly 
to support the opposite view. 

Lastly, whatever may be thought of such passages, an 
appeal to Origen in support of the views which we are 
here opposing, is a most unfortuuate mistake. For, as we 
have already seen, he makes this " Tradition " to which he 
refers responsible for some of his own errors. 1 His case, then, 

ditione, nee aliter credere, nisi quernadinodum per successionem ecclesise Dei 
tradiderunt nobis." Id. In Matth. Comment. Series, § 46. (al. Tract. 29.) torn, 
iii. p. 864. 

' ' See notes in vol. i. pp. 217, 18 and p. 221. Also Hiekcxn. Ep. ad Avit. ep. 
121. ed. Vallars. Venet. 1706 et suq. 


affords a clear proof, that, even at that early period, men might 
make great mistakes, and embrace serious errors, and at the same 
time claim " Church-Tradition " in their favor ; and, conse- 
quently, that the statements of even the earlier Fathers as to 
the doctrine of the Apostolical Churches cannot be fully de- 
pended upon. 

Dionysius of Alexandria, (fl. a. 247.) 

There is also a remarkable testimony to Scripture as the Rule 
of faith, in an extract given us by Eusebius, from the writings 
of Dionysius of Alexandria. Dionysius there gives us an account 
of his going into the province of the Arsinoitse, and convening 
a meeting of the presbyters and others of those parts, to discuss 
the doctrines of the Millenarians, to which many in those parts 
were attached. What, then, was the Rule of judgment to this 
meeting ? At that early period one might not have been sur- 
prised if some reference had been made to Tradition. But we 
find nothing of the kind. On the contrary, we are told by 
Dionysius, in praise of the spirit and mode of proceeding of the 
assembly, that while they attempted to maintain, as far as 
they could, their own notions, they were not ashamed, when 
the argument went against them, to confess their error ; " but, 
" on the contrary, acting most conscientiously and sincerely, 
" and with hearts laid open to God's view, fully received those 
" things that were established by proofs and testimonies of the 
" Holy Scriptures" l 

Cyprian, (fl. a. 248.) 

I proceed to the venerable Cyprian, whose testimony is beyond 
exception in our favor, and remarkably strong. 

In the celebrated contest between him and Stephen, bishop of 
Rome, respecting the rebaptization of those baptized by heretics, 
it was pleaded by Stephen, that " Tradition" was against it. To 
this Cyprian replies, — " f Let nothing new be introduced/ says 
" Stephen, 'but what is delivered [tradited] to us/ Whence 
" is that tradition ? Does it descend from Dominical and Evan- 

1 'AAA.' ev<rvvttSrjTcos Kal dwiroKpiruis, Kal reus KapBiais irpbs rhv ®ihv ?; 
/ueVais, Ta reus a7ro8ei'|e<n Kal 8i5affKa\iais rwv ayiav ypa<p£iv avviaravSptva Kara- 
5ex^M e "<"- Dionys. Alex, in Eusdb. Hist, Eccl. lib. vii. e. 24. ed. Reading. 
p. 351. 


" gelical testimony, or does it come from the commands and 
" epistles of the Apostles ? For, God declares that those things 
" are to be done, that are written .... If, therefore, it is either 
" commanded in the Gospel, or contained in the Epistles or 
" Acts of the Apostles, that those who come from any heresy 
" should not be baptized, but only hands be placed upon them 
" for repentance, let that divine and holy tradition be observed 
" . . . . But if there is but one baptism, which is among us, and 
" is interna], and, of the divine favor, has been granted to the 
" Church alone, what obstinacy and presumption it is to prefer 
" a human tradition to the divine appointment, and not to per- 
" ceive, that God is indignant and angry as often as human 
" tradition annuls and neglects the divine precepts .... Custom 
" without truth is merely old error; wherefore, leaving the 
" error, let us follow truth .... But it is reckoned a gain by 
" pious and simple minds both to lay aside the error, and to find 
" and search out the truth. For, if we return to the head and 
" original of the Divine Tradition, human error ceases .... If 
" an aqueduct, which before flowed largely and in abundance, 
" suddenly fails, do not we go to the fountain, that the reason of 
" the failure may there be ascertained, whether the water is dried 
" up through the exhaustion of the supply at the fountain-head, 
" or whether flowing thence freely and fully it has failed in the 
" middle of its course ; that if it has been caused through the 
" pipe being broken or porous, so that the water could not flow 
" on in a continuous stream, the pipe maybe repaired and made 
" good, and the water collected may be supplied for the use and 
" drink of the city, with the same fulness and perfection with 
" which it rises from the fountain-head ? And this it now be- 
" comes the priests of God to do, observing the divine precepts, 
" so that if the truth has in anything wavered, we may return 
" to the Dominical original and the Evangelical and Apostolical 
" Tradition, and the form of our actions may take its rise from 
" thence whence their order and origin took their rise. For it 
" is delivered to us, that there is one God, and one Christ, and 
" one hope, and one faith, and one Church, and one baptism 
" [Eph. iv. 4 — 6.], ordained only in one Church ; and whoever 
11 departs from this unity, he must necessarily be found among 
" heretics ; whom while he [i. e. Stephen] defends against 


" the Church, he impugns the sacred mystery of the Divine 
" Tradition/' l 

Here, then, we clearly see, that, even in a matter of Church- 
order, Cvprian allows that only to be a divine tradition which is 
to be found in Scripture, and characterizes everything else as 
human tradition; thereby affirming in the strongest way the 
whole of that for which we are here contending against the Ro- 
manists and the Tractators. And if this was the case in the 
middle of the third century, how much more in the middle of 
the nineteenth ! 2 The testimony of Augustine is no doubt op- 
posed to this, who, speaking of this matter, maintains, in opposi- 
tion to Cyprian, that there are some points of Church-order, 

1 " ' Xibil innovetur,' inquit, ' nisi quod tradituru est.' Unde est ista traditio ? 
utrumne de Dominica et Evangeliea auctoritate descendens, an de Apostolorum 
mandatis atque epistolis veniens ? Ea enhn facienda esse quae scripta sunt, Deus 
testatur. ... Si ergo aut in Evangelio prsecipitur, aut in Apostolorum Epistolis aut 
Actibus continetur, ut a quaeunque baeresi venientes non baptizentur, sed tantum 
manus illis imponatur in pcenitentiain, observetur divina ba?c et saneta traditio 
.... Quod si . . baptisma non nisi unum est, quod apud nos est, et intus est, et soli 
Ecclesia? de divina dignatione concessum est, quee ista obstinatio est, quseve prse- 
sumptio, bumanam traditionem divinse dispositioni anteponere, nee animadvertere, 
indignari et irasci Deum quotiens divina praecepta solvit et praeterit humana 
traditio .... Consuetudo sine veritate vetustas erroris est ; propter quod relicto 
errore sequamur veritatem .... In compendio est autem apud rebgiosas et sim- 
plices mentes et errorem deponere et invenire atque eruere veritatem. Nam si ad 
Divina? Traditionis caput et originem revertamur, cessat error bumanus .... 
Si canalis aquam ducens, qui copiose prius et largiter profluebat, subito defciat ; 
nonne ad fontem pergitur, ut illic defectionis ratio noscatur, utrumne arescentibus 
venis in capite imda siccaverit; an vero integra inde et plena procurrens in medio 
itinere destiterit ; ut si vitio interrupti aut bibuli canalis effectual est, quo minus 
aqua continua perseveranter ac jugiter flueret, refecto et confirmato canali, ad 
usum atque ad potum civitatis aqua collecta eadem ubertate atque integi-itate 
repraesentetur, qua de fonte proficiscitur ? Quod et nunc facere oportet Dei 
sacerdotes praecepta divina servantes, ut si in aliquo nutaverit et vacillaverit 
Veritas, ad originem Dominicam et EvangeUcam et Apostolicam Traditionem 
revertamur, et inde surgat actus nostri ratio, unde et ordo et origo surrexit. 
Traditum est enim nobis quod sit unus Deus, et Cbristus unus, et una spes, et 
fides una, et una Ecclesia, et baptisma unum [Epb. iv. 4 — 6], non nisi in una 
Ecclesia constitutum, a qua unitate quisquis discesserit, cmn haereticis necesse est 
inveniatur ; quos dum contra Ecclesiam vindieat, sacramentum divinae traditionis 
impugnat." Cypellki Epist. ad Pompeium contra epist. Stepbani. Op. ed. Fell. 
Oxon. 1682. Ep. 74. P. ii. pp. 211— 16.— See, also, tbe Letter of Firmilian, 
bisbop of Caesarea, to Cyprian, in approbation of tbese statements of Cyprian, 
which follows tbis Letter of Cyprian in all tbe editions of bis works. 

2 Tbe question referred to in tbe above passage of Cyprian is fully discussed, 
vol. i. pp. 312 et seq. 


which may properly be believed to have been constituted by the 
Apostles, and which are not to be found in Scripture. 1 But this, 
as far as Cyprian is concerned, only strengthens our cause, 
because it shows, that we are under no mistake as to the views 
of Cyprian. 

And the views advocated in the above passage are abundantly 
confirmed in other parts of his works. 

Thus, in his Epistle to Crecilius, on the question of using 
water only in the eucharist, he writes thus, — " Although, dear 
brother, I am aware, that most of the bishops that by divine 
favor have been set over the Lord's Churches in the whole 
world adhere to the directions of the Evangelical truth and 
Dominical Tradition, and do not depart from that which our 
Master Christ both commanded and performed, to follow a 
human and upstart ordinance ; yet, since some, either igno- 
rantly or foolishly, when consecrating the Dominical cup, and 
ministering to the people, do not do that which Jesus Christ 
our Lord and God, the author and teacher of this sacrifice, 
did and taught, I have thought it both an act of piety and 
necessity to address this letter to you, that if any one is 
still held by this error, he may, by seeing the light of truth, 
return to the root and original of the Dominical tradition 
.... Taking the cup on the day of his passion, he blessed 
it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ' Drink ye all of this, for 
this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many 
for the remission of sins. I say unto you, I will not drink 
henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall 
drink new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.' 
Where we find, that the cup which our Lord offered was mixed, 
and that it was wine which he called his blood. "Whence 
it is evident, that the blood of Christ is not offered, if there 
is no wine in the cup ; nor is the Dominical sacrifice duly 
celebrated, unless our oblation and sacrifice correspond with 

1 " Consuetudo ilia quae opponebatur Cypriano ab eorum [i. e. Apostolorum] 
traditioiie exordium sumsisse credenda est, sicut sunt multa quas universa tenet 
Ecclesia, et ob hoc ab Apostolis praecepta bene creduntur, quatnquam scripta non 
reperiantur." Augustin. De bapt. contr. Donat. lib. v. c. 31. Op. ed. Ben. 
vol. ix. col. 156. 


" the Passion. But how shall we drink new wine of the fruit 
" of the vine with Christ in the kingdom of the Father, if, in 
" the sacrifice of God the Father, and Christ, we do not offe 1 ' 
" wine, and do not mix the cup of the Lord according to the 
" Dominical tradition ? Also the blessed Apostle Paul, chosen 
" and sent by the Lord, and appointed a preacher of the evan- 
" gelical truth, delivers the same things in his Epistle, saying, 
" ' The Lord Jesus, in the same night in which he was betrayed, 
" took bread/ &c. [quoting 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24.] But if it is 
" ordered by the Lord, and the same thing is confirmed and 
" delivered by his Apostle, that as often as we drink in com- 
" meinoration of the Lord, we ought to do that which the Lord 
" also did, we find, that that which is commanded is not ob- 
(t served by us, unless we do the very same things which the 
" Lord did, and depart not from the divine precept, mixing the 

" cup of the Lord in the same way as he did If, 

" in the sacrifice which Christ offered, Christ only is to be 
" followed, it becomes us to follow, and do that which Christ 

" did, and which he commanded to be done "YVhere- 

" fore if Christ only is to be attended to, we ought not to regard 
" what any of our predecessors thought was to be done, but what 
" he who preceded all, namely Christ, first did. For we must 

" not follow the custom of man, but the truth of God 

" And concerning this, also, let us send letters to our colleagues, 
" that the Evangelical law and the Dominical tradition may be 
" everywhere observed, and a departure not be made from that 
" which Christ both taught and did." 1 

Here, again, in a very similar case to the former, Cyprian 
refers to Scripture as the only authoritative guide in the matter. 
And there is nothing, perhaps, which more shows how much 
the Fathers have often been misrepresented by the Romanists, 
than the fact, that they have constantly availed themselves of 

1 " Quanquani sciain, frater carissime, episcopos plurimos ecclesiis Dominicis in 
toto iimndo divina dignatione pra?positos Evangelicse veritatis ac Dominica? tradi- 
tionis tenere rationem, nee ab eo quod Christus magister et prsecepit et gessit, 
humana et novella institutione decedere ; tamen quoniam quidam vel ignoranter 
vel simpliciter in calice Dominico sanctificando et plebi ininistrando non hoc 
faciunt, quod Jesus Christus, Dominus et Deus noster, sacrificii hujus auctor et 
doctor, fecit et docuit ; religiosuni pariter ac necessariuni duxi, has ad vos litems 
facere, ut si quis in isto errore adlinc teneatur, veritatis luce perspecta ad radieem 


the word " tradition " in this, and the preceding passage, to 
make men believe that Cyprian was a supporter of their views 
of Patristical Tradition. That it is a misrepresentation, and 
that the Romanists are in the habit of making it, is admitted 
by Lumper himself, who says, — " When catholic theologians 
" endeavour to prove the existence of divine traditions from the 
" holy Fathers, they quote, in proof of them, the following 
" passages from St. Cyprian." And he instances the learned 
Ceillier (Hist, gener. des Auteurs. torn. 2. p. 165 et seq.) 
" But," he adds, " by the leave of that most learned man and 
" others, I must say, that neither in this, nor the preceding 
" passages, do St. Cyprian's words refer to divine traditions, 
" distinct from Holy Scripture. Any one will easily be convinced 
" of the truth of this my assertion, if he will only at his leisure read 
" the whole of the letters quoted Cyprian acknow- 


" the Scriptures .... And the illustrious Ceillier is both 

atque originem traditionis Doininicae revertatrur .... Calicem sub die passionis 
accipiens, benedixit, et dedit discipulis suis, dicens ; ' Bibite ex hoc omnes ; hie 
est enira sanguis Xovi Testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur in remissionem pec- 
catorum. Dico vobis, non bibani a modo ex ista creatura vitis usque in diem ilium 
quo vobiscum bibam novum vinum in regno Patris mei.' Qua in parte inve- 
nhnus calicem rnixtum fuisse quern Domiuus obtulit, et vinum fuisse quod san- 
guinem suum dixit. Unde apparet sanguinem Cbristi non ofFerri, si desit vinum 
calici; nee sacrificium Dominicum legitima sanctificatione celebrari, nisi oblatio 
et sacrificium nostrum respondent passioni. Quomodo autem de creatura vitis 
novum vinum cum Christo in regno Patris bibemus, si in saerificio Dei Patris et 
Christi vinum non offerimus, nee cabcem Domini Dominica traditione miscemus ? 
Beatus quoque Apostolus Paulus a Domino electus et missus, et prsedicator veri- 
tatis Evangelicae constitutus, hsec eadem in Epistola sua ponit, dicens ; ' Dominu3 
Jesus, in qua nocte tradebatur, accepit panein,' &c. [1 Cor. xi. 23, 24.] Quod si 
et a Domino praecipitur, et ab Apostolo ejus hoc idem coufirmatur et traditur, ut 
quotiescumque bibenmus in commemorationem Domini hoc fkciamus, quod fecit 
et Dominus, invenimus non observari a nobis quod mandatum est, nisi eadem quae 
Dominus fecit, nos quoque faciamus, et calicem Domini pari ratione miscentes a 
divino magisterio non recedamus .... Si in saerificio quod Christus obtulerit, non 
nisi Christus sequendus est, utique id nos obaudire et facere oportet, quod Christus 
fecit, et quod faciendum esse mandavit .... Quare si solus Christus audiendus est, 
non debemus attendere, quid alius ante nos faciendum putaverit, sed quid qui 
ante omnes est Christus prior fecerit. Xeque enim hominis consuetudinem sequi 
oportet, sed Dei veritatem . . . . Et de hoc quoque ad collegas nostros literas diri- 
gamus, ut ubique lex Evangclica et traditio Dominica servetur, et ab eo quod 
Christus et docuit et fecit non recedatur." Ctpriaxi Epist. ad Cascilium. Op. 
ed. Fell. Oxon. 1682. Ep. 63. P. 2. pp. 148—57. 


" mistaken, and leads others into error, when he asserts, that 
" St. Cyprian defends infant baptism by the authority of Tra- 
" dition ; since the contrary is obvious, from the letter of the 
" holy bishop to Fidus, where he defends the baptism of infants 
" by the clearest reasons, derived from holy Scripture, without 
" making any mention of Tradition." 1 

Such is the testimony of one who was himself a Romanist, 
after which I think there can be no doubt what are the views 
supported by Cyprian. 

As connected, however, with our present subject, I would 
commend the following passages to the attention of the reader. 

" That they may understand from you, and be instructed, and 
" learn what ecclesiastical discipline demands, according to the 
" dictates of the Scriptwes." z 

" This happens, dear brethren, in consequence of a return not 
" being made to the source of the truth, and the fountain-head 
" not being sought, nor the doctrine of our heavenly Master 
" being adhered to. Which if any one considers and examines, 
" there will be no need of a long discussion and arguments." 3 

" Wherefore we also, holding a middle course, and contem- 
" plating the Lord's balance, and meditating on the mercy and 

1 " Quando Theologi Catholici existentiam traditionuui divinarum ex SS. 
Patribus probare conantur, sequeutia ex S. Cypriano loca proiisdem comprobandis 
adducunt .... Sed pace hujus doctissiini viri aliorumque dixerim, neque in hoc 
neque in prsecedentibus locis S. Cyprianum de traditionibus divinis a Scriptura 
sacra distinctis sermonein babere. De bujns asserti mei veritate quilibet facile 
convincetur, si laudatas Epistolas per otium integre evolvere voluerit .... Nul- 
lam aliam traditioneni agnoscebat Cyprianua quani quae in Scriptoria continetur. 
Fallitur auteni et fallit CI. CeiUierius dmn asserit S. Cyprianum Psedobaptisinum 
per traditionis anctoritatem defendisse ; siquidem contrarium ad oculum patet ex 
Epistola sancti antistitis ad Fidum hi ordine Baluziano 59, ubi baptisma infantium 
praeclarissimis rationum momentis e Scriptiu-a sacra depromtis nulla traditionis 
facta mentione defendit." LrMPEB Hist. Theol. — Crit. de vita, &c. Patrum. 
Aug. Vind. 1785 et seq. vol. xi. pp. 521 — 3. 

2 " Ut sciant ex vobis, et instruantur, et discant, quid secundum Scriptiu - arum 
magisterium ecclesiastica cbsciplina deposcat." Cypb. Ep. ad clerum de cura 
paup. &c. Op. ed. Fell. Ep. 14. p. 32. 

3 " Hoc eo fit, fratres dilectissimi, dum ad veritatis originem non rcditur. nee 
caput quaeritur, nee magistri ccelestis doctrina servatiu*. Qua? si quis consideret 
et examinet, tractatu longo atque argumentis opus non est." Id. Dc unit. Ecclee. 
Op. ed. Fell. Oxon. 1682. P. 1. p. 105. On the fraudulent corruption of this 
Treatise by the Romanists, see James's Corruption of Scripture and Fathers. 
Part 2. hit. 


" compassion of God the Father, after much and long discussion 
" with each other, held a steady course between extremes in 
" determining what was to be done." 1 

" We came together, and after the Scriptures had been cited 
"for a long time on both sides, we, with a happy moderation, 
u determined upon a middle course." 2 

" I have received your letters, dear brother, which are truly 
" sensible and full of integrity and faith. Nor am I surprised, 
" that being well versed and skilful in the Dominical Scriptures, 
" you do all things prudently and advisedly." 3 

Lactantius. (fl. a. 303.) 

Proceeding to Lactantius, we are told, that " the faith consists 
of that which is contained in the divine Scriptures." 4 

Eusebius of Cesarea. (fl. a. 315.) 

Our next witness is the learned Eusebius ofCsesarea; who, 
though not apparently in all respects orthodox, 5 may, I suppose, 
be considered a witness not to be despised on the question before 

In his Letter to the people of his own Diocese concerning the 
Council of Nice, he thus speaks of the Anathema which that 

1 " Propter quod et nos temperainentum tenentes, et libram Domini contem- 
plates, et Dei Patris pietatem ac inisericordiam cogitantes, din midtumque 
tractatu inter nos habito, justa moderamine agenda libravimus." Id. Ep. ad Max. 
Presb. &c. Op. ed. Fell. Ep. 54. P. 2. p. 100. 

2 "In unum convenimus, et Script uris diu ex utraque parte prolatis tempera- 
inentum salubri moderatione Ubravimus." Id. Ep. ad Antonian. Op. ed. Fell. 
Ep. 55. P. 2. p. 102. 

3 " Accepinius literas tuas, frater carissime, satis sobrias et integritatis ac fidei 
plenas. Nee iniramur, si exercitatus et in Scripturis Domiiiicis peritus caute 
omnia et consulte geras." Id. Ep. ad Caldon. Op. ed. Fell. Ox. 1682. Ep. 25. 
P. 2. p. 50. 

4 " Quod quia ille [i. e. Cyprianus] non fecit, raptus eximia eruditione divi- 
narum literarum, ut iis solis contentus esset, qttibus fides constat, accessi, Deo 
inspirante, ut ego facerem," &c. Lactant. Div. Instit. lib. v. c. 4. Op. ed. Cant. 
1685. p. 243. ed. Paris. 1748. vol. i. p. 372. 

5 Many of the antients, and some of the moderns, speak of him as a ring- 
leader among the Arians. This, however, is evidently unfair, as he expressly 
repudiated the statements of Arius as to the Son, though his notions on the sub- 
ject do not appear to have been strictly orthodox. Dr Pin and Cave, the latter 
particularlv, will give full infomiation on the point. v 

F 2 


Council annexed to the Creed which it published; — "Moreover 
" we considered the anathematisni published by them at the end 
" of the Creed to be unobjectionable, inasmuch as it prohibits the 
" use of expressions not found in the Scriptures, through which 
" has come nearly all the confusion and disturbance that has 
" arisen in the Church. No part, therefore, of Holy Scripture 
" having used the phrase, ' out of nothing/ or ' there was a time 
" when he was not/ or those which follow, it appeared improper 
" to say or teach these things ; to which, as appearing reason- 
" able, we assented." 1 Can anything show more clearly, how 
completely Scripture was made the sole authoritative Rule of 
faith by Eusebius, and, as far as his testimony goes, by the Bishops 
at Nice ? We shall hereafter see, that the introduction of the 
word " consubstautial" into their Confession is not inconsistent 
with this decision, for that word was made use of as one imme- 
diately flowing from the language of Scripture, and only equi- 
valent to that which was clearly expressed in Scripture. 

Again ; in the disputation with the Philosopher in the Council 
of Nice recorded by Gelasius, Eusebius, replying in the name 
of the bishops there assembled, makes in one of his answers the 
following observations, — "Believe those things which are written, 
" the things which are not written, neither consider nor inquire 
" after ;" and shortly after, having expounded what he considered 
the true doctrine respecting the Son, he adds, "which we, 
" knowing by faith, preach according to the teaching of the Holy 
" Scriptures." 2 

Kal rbv avaOenaTKr/' Se rbv /xera. rijv tt'kttiv irpbs abraiv e/CTefleVra, &\virov 
eli>at 7]yr)ad/j.e6a, Sia. rb airtipyeiv aypdipois xpy< Ta < T ® ai puvais' 5(5 ax^bv 7) iracra 
yeyove crvyxvals re Kal anaTaaTaaia tu>v znK\ri<nu>v /x^Se/xias yovv deoirvtvcrTov 
ypcuprjs rb, ef ovk ovtcov, Kal rb, ijv irore ore ovk Jjv, Kal ro7s e^rjs e7rtAeyo;UfVoiy 
Kt XP r lt J -* v '') s > 0UK evAoyov i<pdvt] ravra Acyeiv Kal SiSdcrKeiv. $ Kal avrcjj Ka\u>s 
SdtavTt avueBe/xeda. Eusebii Epist. ad Ctesariens. ill Socrat. Hist. Eccles. 
lib. i. c. 8. Inter Hist. Eccles. Grac. ed. Reading, vol. ii. p. 26. See also 
Tbieodoret. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 12; and, Gelas. Cyzic. Comment. Act. 
Cone. Nic. P. 2. c. 36. ed. Balf. p. 185. 

2 To~s ytypau-ixevois TricrTtve, to. ll}] yeypajXjxiva [x)) 4vv6ei, firiSe QS)rei 

'6-Kip rjfxils TriffTfi vooui/res K7)pvTTo/j.ev, Kara. r))v b&acTKaXiav -tu>v UpS>v ypacpwis. 
Euseb. ad Pliilosopb. in Gelas. Crzic. Comment. Act. Cone. Nic. P. 2. c. 19. 
ed. Balf. Lutet. 1599. p. 124. It is right that I should here add, that some 
modern authors have doubted the authenticity of the statements made by Gelasius 
as to what took place in the Council of Nice, that is, those which rest upon his 
authority alone. The Romanists, in particular, find it convenient to call his 


Still more plainly in the Preface to his Oration in praise of 
the Emperor Constantine, in which he discourses at large re- 
specting God and his providence, the incarnation of our Saviour, 
and the blessings we derive through him, he speaks of the Holy 
Scriptures as our great Teacher in these points. " Let the de- 
" clarations of the Oracles, not those uttered by divination or 
" rather foolish madness, but those uttered by the light of 
" divine inspiration, be our teachers in the sacred mysteries ; 
" [let them teach us] concerning the kingdom itself, and con- 
" cerning the supreme King, and the divine Guard which sur- 
" rounds the universal King; as also concerning that example 
" of royalty which is among us, and concerning that which 
" falsely counterfeits its character ; and those things which ac- 
" company each rank. From these [oracles] therefore, having 
" learnt the sacrifices suitable to God, as from some Hiero- 
" phantse, let us thus commence handling the divine mysteries." 1 

The Council of Nice, or, Nic^a. 2 (a. 325.) 

From Eusebius let us pass on to the consideration of the pro- 
ceedings at the great Council of Nice, or, Nicsea, (in Bithynia,) 
and see what is the testimony borne by the conduct of that as- 
sembly to the subject under discussion. 

The Tractators, with the Romanists, would fain make us 
believe, that the Fathers there assembled, pronounced judg- 
ment, not directly from Scripture, but from the interpretation 
given to Scripture by Ecclesiastical Tradition. Mr. Keble, in 

statements in question. As to this particular passage, therefore, I leave the 
matter to the reader's judgment. See respecting Gelasius, Mie.ei Auctarium 
De Scriptor. Eccles. p. 21. in Fabeic. Biblioth. Eccles. Hanib, 1718. and Cave, 
Hist. Liter. 

1 hoylwv 8e xP 7 l°~l xo h °^ K * K navreias /xaWov •?} ixavias Trapdcbpovos, (pbiros 8' 
tiwrvoias ivdeov Trpo<nr€<pajvT)H€voi, rwv nXtiiiiv t)jx!v yeviffdwffav SiSdcncaXor a.fx<p\ 
£aeriAeias avTrjs' afj.<pl re /8a<riAe'a>s tov avccTarov Sopvcpopias re Betas, a/jupl 
rhv TtavTwv f3aai\ea' tov re ko.6' 7) f3ao~i\iKov TrapaSdy/xaros, ical tov to 
xdpayjxa K€Kif55ri\ tS>v ff exa-repa! avvofxaprovvToiv Ta.yna.Ti' ois Srj Toy 
BeoTrpeireTs TeA.eras hpo(pavTovfxtvoi, wSeirr) Oeiwv bpyiwv i<pa\p<ifi(8a. ErSEB. 
Praef. ad Orat. in laud. Constant. Inter Hist. Eccles. Graec. ed. Reading, vol. i. 
p. 716. 

2 I use the name " Nice " as that which has been ordinarily used by English 
divines, but " Nicsea " is the more correct name. 


particular, has devoted many pages to the endeavour to prove, 
that the Nicene Fathers were " earnest and constant in resort- 
" ing to Tradition in order to decide among conflicting inter- 
" pretations of Scripture, and settle the fundamentals of our 
" most holy faith f (p. 141 ;) and asserts, that they " went to 
" Church-Tradition for the critical and decisive phrase e of one 
" substance with the Father;' " (p. 138 ;) all which, I hope to 
prove, is very far from a correct representation of what there 
took place. 

I shall, first, give the reader some extracts from the accounts 
remaining to us of the proceedings of this Council, and then 
offer a few observations on what appear to me the very incorrect 
aud delusive statements of Mr. Keble, 

After an address on the part of the bishops to the Emperor 
Constantine, the discussion was opened by a speech from Con- 
stantine to the assembly, at the close of which he makes the 
following remarks, — "It would be grievous," he says, "yea, 
" very grievous, our enemies being destroyed, and no one 
" daring to oppose us, that we should wound one another, and 
" afford pleasure and laughter to our adversaries. And especially 
" when we are discussing divine things, and have the teaching of 
" the most holy Spirit fully committed to writing. For, the Evan- 
" gelical and Apostolical books, and the oracles of the antient 
" Prophets, clearly and fully teach us, what should be our 
" views respecting the Godhead. Let us, therefore, banish hostile 
" contention, and take the solution of the points in ques- 


Such were the sentiments of the Emperor Constantine, who 
was at that time not a novice in the Christian faith, and who 

Ativhv eti), Kal &yav Seivbv, rwv TroAe^iaiv KaraXvdevraiv, Kal firiStvbs avri- 
reiveiv toK/j.u'I'tos, aWyXovs jSoAAeiv, Kal rots Svcr/xevecriv r/Sof^v Kal yi\wra 
■Kpo^ivuv ixWces re Kal trepl Beiwv dta\eyofji.evovs ■n-pay/j.a.Twv, Kal rov iravayiov 
Tlffv/xaros Trjv b~i8a<7Ka\iav avaypairrov ix 0VTas - ^va.yyt\iKal yap, <py](r\, fiiiSAoi 
Kal 'Airo<TTo\iKa\, Kal iw iraXaiuiv irpo<pr]Twv ret fletnriu/xaTa, craepws 7] a xph 
nepl rov ©e/oi' (ppovitv eKiratSfvoucri. Trjv iroXtixoiroibv oZv aireXdo-avrts tptv, 
ck rS>v OeoirvevaTtav \6yu>v KafSaintv tGii> ^r)Tovfj.ev<tiv rrjv Kvcriv. THEODORET. 
Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 6. Op. ed. Schulz. Halae, 1769 et seq. vol. iii. p. 757. 
(Inter Hist. Eccles. Grsec. ed. Reading, torn. iii. p. 26, 27. lib. i. c. 7.) See, also, 
Gelasii Ctzic. Comment. Act. Cone. Nie. lib. ii. c. 7. ed. Balf. Lutet. 1599, 
pp. 84, 5. 


had certainly enjoyed every advantage of instruction in it. A tes- 
timony more decisively in favor of the views for which we are 
contending could not have been pronounced, and whatever slight 
may have been put upon it by Bellarmine, in saying that Con- 
stantine was a great Emperor, but not a great doctor, or by 
Mr. Keble in passing it over in silence, there will be those who 
will regard it as evidence of something more than the mere 
private notion of an individual ; not to mention, that it is stated 
by Theodoret, that, immediately upon the conclusion of this 
speech, " the greater part of the Synod assented to what he had 
said," 1 and that the language in which he is spoken of by all 
who have written concerning him, point him out as no mean 
authority in the matter. I need hardly observe, how completely 
this language proves, that the Emperor Constantine recognised 
no other record of revelation or inspired teaching but the Holy 

But further ; we are not without ample evidence of the way 
in which the discussion was conducted. It will be remembered, 
that the points in question, and upon which the Council was 
called to decide, were those which had been mooted by Arius ; 
and of the conduct of the discussion on these points we 
have the following clear and particular account given us by 

" The assembled bishops being desirous to reject the impious 
" phrases invented by the Arians, namely, [that the Son was 
" created] ' from things that were not/ and the saying, ' that the 
" Son is a being created and made/ and ' there was a time when 
"he was not/ and that f he is of a changeable nature/ and 
" to write words that were confessedly words of Scripture ; namely, 
" that the only-begotten Word is of God by nature, the Power, 
" the alone Wisdom of the Father, the true God, as John said ; 
" and as Paul has written, the brightness of the glory and the 
" image of the Father's substance ; the followers of Eusebius 
" [of Nicomedia], being led astray by their own erroneous 
" notions, said among themselves, — Let us assent to these 
" things, for even we also are of God, for ' there is one God of 
" whom are all things/ and ' old things are passed away, behold 

1 Trjs crvvoSou to tt\(7(ttoi/ toIs Keyoficyots firddtro, ThEODOSET. eod. loc. 


" all things are become new, but all things are of God. 5 And 
" they thought also of that which is written in ' The Shepherd/ 
" ' First of all believe, that there is one God, who created and 
" perfected all things, and brought them into existence out of 
" nothing/ But the bishops seeing their deceitfulness and 
" impious artfulness, used a plainer expression than ' of God/ 
"and wrote, that the Son was ' of the substance of God/ so 
" that creatures, from their not being produced from themselves 
" without a cause, but having a beginning of their existence, 
" might be said to be of God, but the Son only to be properly 
" of the substance of the Father, for this is peculiar to the only- 
" begotten and true Word with respect to the Father, And 
" this ivas the reason why those words were written e of the sub- 
" stance' Again, the bishops asking those who appeared to be 
" a small party, if they would say, that the Son was not a 
" creature, but the Power, the alone Wisdom of the Father, and 
" his eternal image, like to the Father in all things, and true 
" God, the Eusebians were caught intimating to one another, 
" that these things also apply to us, for ever, we also ai*e said to 

" be the image and glory of God," &c " But here also the 

" bishops, having observed their deceit, collected together out of 
" the Scriptures these words, the brightness, the fountain and the 
" river, and the image of the substance, and that expression, ' In 
" thy light shall we see light/ and that, 'I and my Father are 
" one,' and then at last they wrote more plainly and compendiously, 
" that the Son was consubstantial with the Father, for all the pre- 
" vious expressions have this meaning." x 

Twv <Tvvt\()6vT(0V 4iriffK6irct>v /3ov\o/j.tvwv ras fj.\v irapd twv Apeiafuv cOev- 
pedeiffas rrjs a<rej8eias \t£eis a.vt\(iiw rb, e| ovk ovtoov Kal rb Xeyetv Kricr/Jia Kal 
■noirifxa rbv vl6w Kal, 1\v nore, ore ovk ?iv Kal otl Tpewrris icrri (pvcreois' ras 8e tu>v 
ypa<p£>v S/xoXoyov/uLtfas ypaipar oti re 4k rod ®eov rrj <pvo~ei fj.ovoyevf)s iffTiv 6 
Koyos, Svva/xis, o~o(pla ixovt] tov Tlarpbs, 6ebs a\r)6ivbs, as dirtv 6 ludvvr)S' Kal cLs 
typa^ev d Tlav\os, diravyda/xa rr/s 8o£ris, Kal x a P aKT hp T V S T °v Tlarpbs inrovrd- 
ceoij - ol trtpl Euaeptov virb tvjs ISias KaKoSo^ias eAjco/xej'oi, SieAaKovv a\\r)\ois' 
avi>9w/j.e6a- Kal yap Kal ryuus e'/c tov 8eov io~fiev efs yap 6ebs, e'| ov ra irdura- Kal, 
ra apxa'a Trap?i\8ev, ISoii yeyove ra iravra Kaiud- ra 8« -ndvra 4k tov 6eov- e\o- 
yi(,ovT0 8« Kal rb 4v ru> Hoijxivi ypacpiv irpwrov trdvToiv triartvcrov, '6tl efs io~riv 5 
6ebs, 6 to. -ndvra Kriaas Kal Karaprlcras, Kal iroir)o-as £k tov fxrj ovtos (Is rb tTvat. 
AAA' oj (TtlaKonoi 8eci>pj)o~avTes rr\v -rravovpylav fKiivcov, Kal rrjp rrjs aatfieias 
KaKOTexviav, AevK&rtpov tlpr)Kacn rb e/c tov 6eov, Kal typa\pav, e/c rrjs ovo~las tov 
Qeov elrai rbv vibv, 'Iva ra. fxkv nrlff/xara, Sta rb fj.$j d<f> kavr&v x^P^ alriov flvat, 


This account is repeated by Athanasius in another place in 
almost the same words, the last sentence being, if possible, still 
more clear in proof of the cause being determined directly from 
Scripture. " But the bishops having observed their hypocrisy 

" in this were compelled again to collect the sense of 

" the matter from the Scriptures, and to repeat in plainer words 
" what they had said before, and write that the Son was con- 
" substantial with the Father." 1 

How, with this clear and particular account of the mode in 
which the discussion was conducted, any one can affirm, that the 
matter was determined by a reference to the traditional inter- 
pretation of the Church, is almost inconceivable. And yet, in 
the face of these passages, Mr. Keble scruples not to state, 
that "the three hundred bishops who joined in its [i. e. the 
" Nicene Creed's] promulgation, did not profess to have col- 
" lected it out of the Bible, but simply to express the faith 
" which each of them had found in the Church which he re- 
" presented, received by tradition from the Apostles." (p. 35.) ! 
And these passages, containing a plain and clear account of the 
way in ivhich the discussion was conducted, though occurring in 

0A.A0 apxh v «vt € " / T0 ^ yeve&Bai, Xeyt)rai 4k rov 0eoD. 6 5e vlbs /xovos YSios rrjs rov 
Tlarpbs ovaias' rovro yap iSiov /xovoyevovs Kal aXrjBwov \6yov irpbs Tlarepa. 
Kal irepl rov yeypdcpdcu 4k rrjs ovaias, r) irp6<pao~is avrrj, naA.iv 8e rwv 4-kio~- 
Koiruv ipcordvrwv robs SoKovvras 6\iyovs, etirtp \eyotev, Tbv vlbv ov Krlcr/xa, aAAa 
ovvafxiv, (Tocpiav /xSvrjv rov Tlarpbs, Kal tiKOva a'tSiov, airapaWaKrov Kara, ndvra. 
rov Tlarpbs, Kal 6(bv a\r)9ivbv, Kare\T)<p6r)o~av ol wtpl Eucre/3<oi/ oiavfvovns aAA.^- 
Aots, on Kal ravra (pddvet Kal els VfJLas, Kal yap Kal ripels, Kal tiKwv Kal 56%a fieoO 

Aey6/u.e8a, k. t. A 'AWa, Kal 4vravda ol i-rriffKOTroi B(wpr)cravres 4k^(voov 

rb S6\wv, o~vvr)yayov 4k rwv ypacpwv, rb airavyacrjxa, rr)v re Trrjyrjv Kal rbv irora- 
fibv, Kal rbv \apaKrr)pa Trpbs rr\v viroo~rao~iv, Kal rb, 4v t<£ (purl o~ov oif<o/u.6(?a <pS>s, 
Kal rb, 4yoo Kal 6 Tlarrjp 'iv 4o~jX£V Kal \evKorepov Konvbv Kal crvvr6/ eypatyav, 
bfjioovcriov rZ Tlarpl rbv vlbv ra. yap irpoeiprtfjifva navra ravrrjv ex €I T ^ v o~r)fj.aalav. 
Athanas. Ad Afros Episc. Epist. §§ 5, 6. Op. ed. Bened. torn. i. P. 2. pp. 
895, 6. This passage is quoted by Theodoket, Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 7. (c. 8. ed. 

1 'AAA' ol 4-k'mtkoitoi Kal 4v rovrw 6eajpr)ffavr€s ttjv vw6Kpio~iv iKeivwv, Kal on, 
Kara rb yiypa/xfievov, iv KapSiais rSiv ao~fl$Giv SoAos icrrl rtKraivofxivuv KaKa, 
r)vayKacr8rio~av Kal avrol aiBts avvayayzlv 4k rwv ypacpuv rrjv diavoiav, Kal airep 
nportpov iksyov, ravra Trdkiv \(VK6rtpov eiireir, Kal ypa^at, 6/xoovo-tov elvai t<j> 
Tlarpl rbv vl6v. Athakas. De Decret. Synod. Nic. § 20. torn. i. pp. 225, 6. In 
accordance with this statement of Atbannsius, it is said by Phsebadius, " Quid 
egistis, beatse memoriae viri, qui ex omnibus orbis partibus Niescam congregati, 
et sacris vohiminibus pertractis perfectarn fklei Catholicse regulam circuminspecto 
sermone fecistis." Ph^ebad. Contr. Arian. lib. i. § 6. Bibl. Patrum, ed. Galland. 
torn. v. p. 251. 


Treatises from which Mr. Keble has quoted, are passed over in 
complete silence; and his evidence as to the conduct of the 
debate is derived wholly from inferences drawn from indirect 
sources of information. The case is so important, that it may 
be worth while to sift that evidence, and it will afford an op- 
portunity of strengthening the conclusions to which the pre- 
ceding extracts necessarily lead. 

The representation which Mr. Keble has given us of the 
matter is this; " The method of proceeding at Nicsea appears to 
" have been nearly as follows ; each bishop was required to 
" rehearse the faith which he and his Church professed, and 
" into which they were baptized," and when all, with but few 
exceptions, " agreed substantially in the orthodox interpreta- 
tion," " the burthen of proof was of course thrown on the here- 
" siarch, and he was required to make good his theory by 
" allegations from Scripture," " but his allegations being over- 
" thrown by large arguments from Scripture itself, the ortho- 
" dox creed was considered as sufficiently established," and 
" the orthodox traditional interpretation was incorporated 
" into a written creed, being first thoroughly vindicated both 
" in the substance and wording of it, and also in the annexed 
" anathema, by reasoning out of Holy Writ. The result was 
" the Nicene Creed with its anathema." (pp. 119, 20.) 

Now, the whole of this statement as to the bishops "re- 
hearsing their faith," and this " orthodox traditional interpreta- 
tion," in which they " agreed substantially/'' being " incorpo- 
rated into a written creed," is a pure fiction, utterly destitute of 
any testimony in its favor in all the various accounts given us 
by the antients of this Council, and clearly opposed to the ac- 
counts quoted above of its proceedings. Not one of those who 
have left us an account of this Council, has given us the slight- 
est hint that the bishops there assembled so gave in their Con- 
fessions of faith ; and Bishop Taylor, after saying, " it is not 
" certain that they at their meeting recited any other Creed 
" than the Apostolical," adds, " for that they did not, Lauren- 
" tius Valla, a Canon in the Lateran Church, affirms, that him- 
" self hath read in the antient books of Isidore, who collected 
" the canons of the antient councils." 1 

1 Works, ed. Heber, x. 462. 


Further, as to the notion that these Creeds, containing the 
" orthodox traditional interpretation," were incorporated, and 
thus formed the Nicene Creed, we have demonstrative evidence 
that it is incorrect ; for Eusebius, in his Letter to his own Dio- 
cese, giving an account of the proceedings of the Council, gives 
us the Creed which he proposed to the Council as that which he 
had received from the bishops who had preceded him and his 
early instructors, and had professed at baptism, and " learned 
from the Holy Scriptures," and which he tells us was approved 
(i. e. as far as it went) by the bishops there assembled, and in 
which those very phrases, which alone were obnoxious to the 
Arian party, and were controverted in the Council, were not to 
be found; and which is condemned by Athanasius as unsatisfac- 
tory on the points in question ; l and by the extracts given above 
from Athanasius, we see clearly, in what way, and by what con- 
siderations, the Council was induced to add to this proposed 
and approved Creed of Eusebius the words which alone decisively 
condemned the heresy of Arius, and in which more particularly 
the Nicene Creed differs from the Apostolical, namely, by 
reasoning drawn directly from Scripture. Indeed it is obvious, 
that if the baptismal Creeds of the Churches had contained a 
condemnation of the errors of Arius, there would have been no 
need of the Council of Nice. Nay, Mr. Keble himself tells us, 
that " additions" were made at Nice to " the old baptismal 
Creed." (pp. 137, 8.) How, then, can he say at the same time, 
that the Nicene Creed is merely an incorporation of a number 
of different forms of "the old baptismal Creed V And further, 
the agreement of the bishops assembled at Nice respecting 
the doctrine there debated upon, is expressly attributed by 
Constantine to their being under the influence of the Holy 
Spirit. 2 

Let us see, then, in what way Mr. Keble attempts to defend 
his view of the matter. 

" First," he says, " there is the general presumption in favour 
of it." (p. 121.) A most extraordinary argument, surely, to begin 
with, in a matter which must rest upon testimony, and which 
bodes ill for what follows. 

1 See Athanas. De Decret. Synod. Nic. § 3. torn. i. pp. 210, 11. 
s See Soceat. Hist. Eccl. i. 9. 


He then refers to the circular letter of Alexander, Patriarch 
of Alexandria, giving notice of his condemnation of Arius, and 
that which he wrote on the same subject to Alexander, Patriarch 
of Constantinople; and having given two extracts, says, 
" Thus much may suffice to show the opinion of the venerable 
" Alexander concerning the best way of dealing with the con- 
" troversy which led to the Nicene Council." (p. 123.) But these 
extracts do anything but suffice to show this, for they would 
give the reader a very erroneous view of the matter. For the 
extract from the first letter is merely this, — " Who ever heard 
" such things ? or who now hearing them, is not astonished, 
" and stoppeth his ears, that the contamination of these words 
" may not touch his hearing 1" 

But Alexander proceeds thus, — "For, who is there, who, 
" when he hears John saying, ' In the beginning was the word/ 
" does not condemn these men, saying, ' There was a time when 
" he was not' ? Or who, hearing in the Gospel, ' the only- 
" begotten Son/ and ' by him all things were made/ will not 
" abhor these men when they declare that he is a creature?" 
And then having proceeded to adduce many other passages of 
Scripture in behalf of the orthodox faith, he adds, — " Saying 
" these things, and unfolding the divine Scriptures, we oftentimes 
" overthrew them, and then, like chameleons, they immediately 
" changed their ground." 1 Now, "thus much" may "suffice 
" to show the opinion of the venerable Alexander concerning 
" the best way of dealing with the controversy," and that 
that opinion was, that it was to be decided by a reference to Scrip- 
ture and Scripture only, for to that only does he refer. And so 
Theodoret says of him, that " he following the divine oracles, 
" said that the Son is equally to be honoured with the Father, 
" and that he is of the same substance with the Father who 
" begot him ; but Arius, fighting against the truth, called him a 
" being created and made." 2 

1 Kal ravTa Aeyovres, ko! avairrvaffovrts ras deias ypa<pas, TroAAa/m aperpe- 
vj-ap.e«/ avrovs' Kal tt&Kiv a>s xayuaiAeWrer fJ-erfPaWovTO. AlEXAJTDEI Epist. ad 
fratres qui ul>ique gentium sunt, in Sock at. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 6. (al. 3.) cd. 
Reading, p. 13; and in Gelas. Ctzic. lib. ii. c. 3. pp. 56, 7. 

2 Kal 6 fnev [i. e. 'AAelaVSpos] rots Oeiois \6yots tir6/xevos, 6fi.6Tifj.ov eAe-ye 
rod Tlarpbs rby v'tbv, Kal t)}V avr^v ovaiav «x 6 "' T< ? ytysvvyKo'Ti ©ey - 6 Se "'Apeios 


With respect to the second letter, 1 I know not what advan- 
tage Mr. Keble can suppose his cause to gain by it, for he 
himself allows, that the refutation contained in it of Arian 
errors is derived solely from Scripture. But, it is said by Mr. 
Keble, he concludes with " a distinct enunciation of his own 
" and his Church's faith, conceived in such terms, and with 
" such arrangement, as evidently show it to be a paraphrase on 
" the baptismal or Apostolical Creed then in use at Alexandria." 
(p. 123.) What then ? May we not repeat the Apostolical or 
Xicene Creed, as containing our belief, without its being sup- 
posed that we accept them on the ground of the authority of 
ecclesiastical Tradition, and not on the ground of our belief in 
their conformity to Scripture ? Nay, the words of Alexander 
himself preclude all doubt as to his view of the subject, for he 
expressly refers the Creed which he gives to the teaching of the 
Holy Scriptures. " Besides this religious opinion concerning 
" the Father and Son, as the Sacred Scriptures teach, we confess 
" one Holy Ghost," &c. The form of words in which he ex- 
pressed his belief might be similar to that of many who lived 
before him ; but the sole authority upon which he spoke was 
the testimony of Holy Scripture. So the orthodox Presbyters 
who opposed Noetus, after giving a statement of their faith 
almost in the words of the Apostles' Creed, add, " These are 
" the doctrines we profess, having learxt them from the divine 
" Scriptures, and these doctrines we believe." 2 

His next reference is to Athanasius, to whom he refers as 
supporting the position that we are to go to Tradition as our 
authoritative teacher as to what is the faith, and then find, as 
we may, the proof in Scripture ; and hence deduces the in- 
ference, that the Council of Nice, in which Athanasius took so 
prominent a part, must have also acted upon this principle. 
This inference we might fairly leave to its fate, after the quota- 
tions given above respecting the actual proceedings of the 
Council ; but I will just observe, that the only two passages 

&uriKpvs rfj a\rjdela ixaxip-tvos, kt'htplo. Ka\ iro'n)fj.a. TrpocrrjySpeve. Tqeod. Hist. 
Eccl. lib. i. c. 1. Op. ed. Schulz. torn. iii. p. 726. (ed. Reading, lib. i. c. 2. p. 7.) 

1 See Theod. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 3. (c. 4. ed. Reading.) 

- TavTa Xf-yofMev /ue/zo07j(C^T€s curb twv Beluv ypcupwi', & Kal tTnaraixtda. See 
Epiptiax. Adv. haer. in haer. 57- § 1. Op. ed. Petav. torn. i. p. 480. 


quoted from Athanasius, which would seem to prove that such 
was his view, are the two upon which we have already com- 
mented in a preceding chapter, to which therefore I refer the 
reader. 1 

" Proceeding," says Mr. Keble, " to the few details which 
" remain of what took place in the Council, we find nothing to 
" contradict, and much to strengthen the idea, that not only 
" St. Athanasius's doctrine, but also his mode of establishing it, 
(C was there sanctioned." Here, then, we might fairly expect 
some notice of the passages we have given above from Athana- 
sius, describing " what took place in the Council." But to these 
not the most remote allusion is made, and we hear of nothing but 
some circumstances and remarks incidental to the discussion, 
which prove nothing. The first is an observation of Sozomen 
relating to what took place at a meeting of the bishops a few 
days before the Council was opened. " Some/' he says, " were 
" for discouraging all innovation on the faith delivered down 
" from the beginning ; those especially whose simplicity of 
" character taught them, without nice inquiry, to accept the 
" faith in God. Others were peremptory, that it was wrong, 
" without trial, to follow after the more antient opinions." 2 
Upon which Mr. Keble remarks, " In a word, the question lay 
" between traditive and private interpretation. Which of the 
" two prevailed, Sozomen does not expressly say ; but he does 
" say, that this preliminary discussion proved an effectual trial 
" of the skill of the principal debaters on each side ; and that 
" from that time St. Athanasius being there in attendance on 
" Alexander, obtained the lead in the proceedings of the Council. 
" This does not look as if Athanasius had failed in the prelimi- 
" nary debate, and we know which side he must have taken 
" in it." 3 

Such is another of the far-fetched extraordinary arguments by 
which, keeping out of sight the account given by Athanasius of the 
actual proceedings, our author would support his view of the 

1 See vol. i. pp. 65 — 71. 

2 Sozomen. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 17. (al. 1G.) sub fin. Liter Hist. Eccles. Grsec. 
ed. Reading, torn. ii. pp. 35, 36. 

3 Kfble's Serai, pp. 128, 9. 


conduct of this Council. According to him, then, the Council 
thought it right, " without trial, to follow after the more antient 
opinions," and contented themselves with simply following 
Church-Tradition. Now, not to mention the real facts of the 
case, as given by Athanasius, the very author here quoted by 
Mr. Keble tells us just after, that there was a long disputation 
concerning the faith, and that at last they all agreed together, 
and decreed that the Son was consubstantial with the Father, 
except a few ; l — which passage alone might have led him to doubt 
the soundness of his far-fetched inference. And the Emperor 
Constantine, in his Letter to the Churches respecting the Council, 
distinctly says, that all the points in dispute were thoroughly 
searched into, until a determination acceptable to God was brought 
to light? 

His next argument is, however, still more extraordinary. 
" Moreover, Sozomen goes on to record, in immediate connec- 
" tion with this discussion, the well-known anecdote of the aged 
" and unlearned confessor, who silenced a pagan disputer, present 
" at the Council, by the bare recital of his baptismal Creed ;" and 
having given the anecdote, he adds, — " Not to dwell on the 
" possibility that here is something of a divine sanction given 
" to the appeal to antiquity, which our argument sup- 
" poses, even the lowest statement, that of Socrates, implies a 
" decided preference there given to traditional over private in- 
" terpretations. It shows what bias the Fathers were under the 
" day before the Council was holden." 3 If this reasoning were 
correct, it would follow, that we cannot refer to the Creed as 
expressing our belief, without showing, to a demonstration, that 
we uphold Mr. Keble's views of Tradition. But the fact is, that 

1 'Ek tovtov 5e 7] nepl tov 86y/jt.a,TOS 8(dAe£is iKivfjOr) ro?s iepevcrf Sxo^-'? 5e 
Kal fid\a avt^iKCLKUis 7}Kpoa.TO 6 ficunAevs rwt/ eKarepaQev Aoyaiv ... to Si) 
TzAevraiov, avue/3f](rav dAArJAois irdvrfs ol Upas, Kal b^ooximov ilvai t<£ Uarpl 
rhv vibu ty-qtyiaavro' jjlovoi Se, to. jxev irpSiTa, 5e/ca Kal kirTa. Aeyoi/rai rr\v 'Apeiov 
So^av iiraivecrar k. t. A. SozoilEX. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 20. (al. 19.) bit. 
ed. ead. p. 38. 

2 *Axp' to(Tovtov airavra ttjs irpocr^Kovcr^s T(ri>xt\Kev i^erdaews, &XP ts °" V T <? 
Trdvrciiv i<p6ptj) 0eo> apeffKovaa yvev/xr], irpbs t)]v ttjs kvoTi)Tos avfKpaiviav els <pS>s 
wporix^V <*>s ("TjSee en irpbs Six&voiav r) triffrews d.p.<pi(rfS-r\Tr\<Tiv inroXtiirtaQai. 
Euseb. Vit. Constant, lib. iii. c. 17. (al. 16.) Inter Hist. Eccles. Grace, ed. Reading, 
torn. i. pp. 586, 7. 

3 Keble's Semi, pp. 129, 30. 


any one who will take the trouble of referring to Sozomen's ac- 
count of this matter, will find that it is utterly irrelevant to the 
point in hand. Sozomen tells us, that several philosophers were 
present at the Council of Nice, for the sake of knowing what 
was the Christian faith ; and that upon one of them talking 
boastingly and derisively on the subject, a simple and unlearned 
confessor said, " In the name of Jesus Christ, hear me, phi- 
" losopher. There is one God, the maker of heaven and earth, 
" and all things visible and invisible, who made all things by 
" the power of the Word, and established them by the sacred 
" influence of the Holy Spirit. This Word, therefore, whom we 
" call the Son of God, pitying men for their errors and wretched 
" mode of living, vouchsafed to be born of a woman, and live 
" among men, and die for them, and he will come again to pro- 
" nouuce sentence upon all for their deeds. That these things 
" are so, we believe, without curious investigation. Do not, 
" therefore, labour in vain, seeking for proofs of those things 
" which are understood by faith, and the manner in which these 
" things may or may not be done. But answer me, whether 
" you believe ; to which the philosopher, struck with astonish- 
" ment, replies, I believe." 1 Such is the anecdote from which 
Mr. Keble's inference is derived. The reader will at once per- 
ceive, that there is not the slightest reference to Church-Tradition, 
or even any form of Creed, but simply an enunciation of the 
great points of the Christian faith revealed in Scripture. Mr. 
Keble must be hard pressed indeed for arguments when he 
makes use of such as these. Had he been opposing the views 
of those who think that the credibility of revealed truth is to be 
judged by natural reason, then indeed this anecdote might have 
had its weight in his favor ; but how it can be quoted as tending 
to establish the authority of Church-Tradition, I cannot under- 

He then cites the reply of Acesius to Constantine ; — <c It is 
" no new matter, Emperor, which the Synod hath determined ; 
" for so, from of old, from the beginning, even from the times 
" of the Apostles, I have received the definition of the faith/* 

' Sozomen. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 18. (al. 17.) ed. Reading, pp.36, 37. 


(p. 130.) l But this is nothing to the purpose; for we do not 
affirm, that the doctrine maintained at Nice was new to the 
Church, but the contrary. The only point in question is, Upon 
what foundation the doctrine was placed. 

Then it is said, (p. 31,) Eustathius tells us, that the blasphemy 
ofEusebiusof Nicomedia " caused, at first hearing, inconceivable 
grief to the audience, on account of its great deviation." 3 Well, 
deviation from what ? My reply would be, deviation from the 
truth which they believed to be revealed in Scripture ; and which, 
consequently, they had been in the habit of considering the 
orthodox Christian faith. 

The last argument is derived from the words with which 
Eusebius of Csesarea prefaces the Creed which he proposed to 
the Council, which were these, — " As we have received from 
" the bishops before us, in our first catechetical instruction, and 
" when we were baptized, as also we have learned out of the 
" divine Scriptures, and as we have both believed and taught 
" .... we offer unto you our faith;" 3 from which Mr. Keble 
would wish us to conclude, that Eusebius supported our op- 
ponents' view of the authority of Church-Tradition ; and this, 
notwithstanding that in these very words Eusebius has himself 
told us, that he learned these things out of the divine Scriptures. 
Mr. Keble appears to have forgotten, that the question is, — not 
whether a certain form of words, by which many of those who 

1 'O Se, ovSev Kaiubv, e<p7], Si (3a<ri\ev, tj avvoSos wpiaev ovrw yap &vaidev Kal 
e{ apxys, e/c Tail/ aTroo~To\iKwv xpovwv Trapei\i)<pa Kal rbv opov ttjs Trio-rews Kal rbv 
%p6vov ttjs rod nd<rx a copras. Socr. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 10. (ill. 7-) ed. Read, 
p. 38. See also Gelas. Ctz. lib. ii. e. 30. ed. 1599. pp. 169, 70. 

- Tbe words of Eustathius are these : — 'fi.s Se tfarelro ttjs iricrTews 6 rpSiros, 
evapyrjs fiev e\eyxos rb ypd/x/xa ttjs EvcrefSiou rrpoiifidWero f$\ao~(pr)nlas' errl Trdvrwv 
Se avayvaiaBev, avr'iKa avjxipopav /xev h.<ndQjxirrov ttjs eKTpoirrjs eveKa Tots avTi]K6ois 
irpov^evet. Theodor. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 7. Op. ed. Schulz. torn. iii. p. 759. (ed. 
Reading, lib. i. c. 8. p. 28.) 

3 Kaflajs Tra.peKdfioiJ.ev Trapa rwv irpb t)ixuiv etnaKSTrouv, ev ttj irpwrr) KOTTJX'J< r e<, 
Kal ore rb \ovrpbv e\a)xfidvofji.ev, KaOuis Kal otto rwv Oeluiv ypa(pu>v fxefxaQrtKop.ev, 
Kal is ev aiirai r<p irpeo-fSurepiij}, Kal ev aurij rfj eiriciKOTtfj eTi<yTevojJ.ev re Kal eSt- 
SdffKO/j.ev, ovtw Kal vvv TriarevovTes ttjj/ y)ixerepav Triariv TTpo<java<pepojxev . ECSEB. 
C^:s. Epist. ad Dioeces. in Theod. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 11. ed. Schulz. pp. 776, 7. 
(ed. Read. lib. i. c 12. p. 38.) This letter of Eusebius is also to be found in 
Soceat. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 8. ed. Read. p. 23. (al. lib. i. c. 5.) Gelas. Ctzic. 
Comment. Act. Cone. Xic. lib. ii. c. 35. ed. 1599. pp. 179 et seq. and in the Bene- 
dictine edition of Athanasitts at the end of his Treatise De Deer. Syn. Nic. 


have gone before us have expressed their belief, may or may not 
be used by us to express our belief, but — what are the grounds 
of our belief; and whether Scripture only is the foundation upon 
which our belief (however expressed) rests ; in other words, 
whether we accept the Creed as the authoritative interpretation 
of Scripture, derived from Church-Tradition, from which it 
would not have been allowable for us to depart, whatever might 
have been its testimony ; or, as, in our view, a faithful represen- 
tation of the truth, as revealed in Scripture. And in these 
words of Eusebius, as in most other similar references to the 
Creed by the early Fathers, he may clearly see, that the latter 
was the view which they held of the matter. 

Further ; as to the word " consubstantial : " Mr. Keble tells 
us, that " the Fathers went to Church-Tradition for the critical 
and decisive phrase f of one substance with the Father/ " 
(p. 138.) And he refers us, in a note, to Athanasius (De Deer. 
Syn. Nic. § 25 — 27. i. 230), as his authority for the assertion. 
But Athanasius, neither here nor anywhere else, says anything 
like this. "What he says, is this ; — " They, therefore, who were 
" assembled at Nice, (Nicsea,) holding this view, used also such 
" expressions [here is the reason given why they used the terms 
" in question] . Moreover let us also proceed to show, that they 
" did not invent these terms for themselves, since this, also, is 
"pretended [by the Arians] ; but used expressions which they 
" had received from former times, from those who went before 
" them ; so that not even this pretence may be left to them. Learn, 
" therefore, ye Arians, enemies of Christ, that Theognostus, 
" a man of repute, hesitated not to use the expression f of the 
u substance.' .... Dionysius, moreover, that was Bishop of Alex- 
" andria .... affirmed, that he confessed the Son to be f consub- 
" stantial/ >n That is, some few of the Fathers, who lived 

1 Of fJ-iv ovv eV t?7 Ni/ccu'a ffvvtXdovTes, Tavrrju ex 0VTfS T, V Sidvotav, Toiaxnas 
Kal ras A.e'|eis Zypatyav. "Ot< 5e ovx eavTols irXairavTis i-Kiv6r)<Tav ravras, e-rreiSau 
Kal tovto irpocpaal^ovTai, aW' IxvooQtv irapa rwv vpb avrwv irapa.XafSdvTts elpTjKaffi, 
(pepe Kal tovto SaAiy^aifjav, 'iva /*7j8e clvtt] avTols f) irpocpaais irfpiXdnriTat. 
Ma0€T€ Toivvv, & X.picrTOfj.a'x 01 'Apttavol, '6ti QedyvccffTos fief, av\ip Koyios, oil irapr)- 

T^craTO rb in ttjs ovaias elireiV Aioi/vo~tos Se 6 yepo/xevos £irio~Koiros tt)s 

'A\e£av8peias .... bp.oovo~iov avTOV \\. e. tov vlbv\ 6/J.oAoye'iv 5ie#e/8cu<y(raTO. 
Axhanas. De Decret. Nic. Synod. § 25. Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. p. 230. 


before the Council of Nice, had used the phrase. But this is a 
totally different thing from saying that the Fathers " went to 
Church-Tradition for the phrase/' 

And so, a little further on, he still more plainly shows, that 
the Fathers at Nice selected the word consubstantial on the 
ground — not of any Church-Tradition in its favor, but — of its 
expressing their view of the sense of Scripture; and that his 
reference to the use of the word by former Fathers, was merely 
by way of a confirmation, as far as it went, of the correctness of 
their view. " I have already related/' he says, " the reason and 
" the meaning which the Synod had in using the words ' of the 
" substance' and ' consubstantial,' agreeably to what is said of 
" the Saviour out of the Scriptures ; and what Fathers before 
" them made use of the same expressions." 1 Such, also, is the 
account he gives of the matter, in his Letter to the African 
bishops. — " The bishops," he says, <( did not invent these phrases 
" for themselves ; but had testimony from Fathers for them, 
" when they wrote thus. For, antient bishops, nearly one 
" hundred and thirty years before, of great Rome, and of our 
" own city, blamed in their writings those who said that the Son 
:c was a created being, and not consubstantial with the Father. 
*' And of this, Eusebius, who was Bishop of Cfesarea, was con- 
" scious, who at first was disposed towards the Arian heresy. 
" But afterwards, having subscribed in the Xicene Synod itself, 
" he wrote to his people, affirming, ' We know, that certain 
" learned and illustrious bishops and writers of the antients used 
" the word, consubstantial, in relation to the divinity of the 
" Father and Son.' " 2 

1 'Eyw yap tjjj' alr'iav Kal ttiv Stduoiav, Kaff %v fj crvvoSos rb ex ttjs oiiaias 
Kal rb bfioovaiov avfjityuivus rots e/c ruv ypa<pa>v trtpl tov Sotttj/joj elprjfxevois, Kal 
Zffoi irpb avrSiv QeQevTo irarepes Kal eypaipav, ^ir\yrj<rdfJL-qv. AlHA>"AS. De Decret. 
Syn. Hie. § 28. torn. i. p. 234. 

2 Of 5e eiriV/ccnroi, oi>x eaurous evpSvrts ras \e£eis, a\A' 4k irarspuiv %x ovriS 
t))v fiaprvpiav, ovrws eypaipav iirto'KOTroi yap dpx&iot irpb irwv 4yyvs irov knarbv 
rpiaKovra, rrjs /j.fya\-qs Pdfj.Tjs, Kal tt)s Tinerepas ir6\ews, ypd<povres rJTiaffavro 
robs iroirifj.a \tyouras rbv vlbv Kal jur; 6/xoovo'iov t<£ Harpi. Kal tovto iyivaiaKtv 
Eti(re/3tos 6 ytv6/xfvos iiriuKOiros ttjs Kaicrapeias, trpdrepov ixhv avvTpixwv rfj 
, hpnavrj alpfcrer vcrnpov 5e inroypd^/as eV avrfj ttj 4v Ni/faia crvvoSw, typaxpe to7s 
ISiois 5ic fiefia'.ovfjLfvos, Bri Kal tSiv iraXaiSiv Ttvas Koyiovs Kal inKpavfts i-wi<jK6- 
ttovs Kal <rvyypd<pfas eypwfitv inl ttjs tov Xlarpbs Kal vlov 6e6TT)Tos t<£ tov dfxoov- 
criov xP' r l ~ a ! JL * V0VS ouoixaTi. Athaxas. Ad Afros Episc. Ep. § 6. torn. i. P. 2. 
p. 896. 

G 2 


All, then, that was contended for in behalf of the word on 
this ground was, that some authors of good name had used it 
before; and this notice of its previous use, by some of the earlier 
Fathers, was evidently merely intended by Athanasius to make 
it a little more palatable to those who objected to it, by showing 
them that some, whose opinion they might esteem, had sanc- 
tioned the use of it. It is clear, however, that whatever might 
be the claims of Church-Tradition, the use of a word by two or 
three writers, spread over three centuries, could not give it a 
right to participate in those claims. And certainly Augustine 
knew nothing of this Tradition ; for he tells us, in a passage 
already quoted in a previous page, 1 that the Nicene Fathers 
" made the word to meet the impiety of the Arian heretics ; " 
which, I admit, is a mistake in the other extreme ; but which, 
nevertheless, shows, that he did not believe it to be derived from 

Nay, more, it had not the sanction of Church-Tradition, for its 
use had been directly opposed, and that by orthodox Fathers, as 
Athanasius himself tells us. The Fathers assembled at a Synod 
at Antioch against Paul of Samosata, in the latter part of the 
third century, 2 determined, as we are informed by Athanasius, 3 
and Basil, 4 and Hilary, 5 that "the Son is not consubstantial 
with the Father ;" rejecting the word " consubstantial," as 
Basil tells us, as not appropriate ; " giving the idea of substance 
" and things derived from it ; so that a divided substance would 
" give the appellation of consubstantial to those things into 
" which it was divided." 6 The word was rejected, where the 

1 See above, vol. ii. p. 185. 

2 The first Council at Antioch held against Paulus Samosatenus, met about 
the year 261, at which, according to Theodoret, (Hser. Fab. lib. 2. § 8. Op. ed. 
Schulz. torn. iv. p. 334.) the famous Gregory of Neocsesarea, called Thauinaturgus, 
presided, and Firmilian of Caesarea and other eminent bishops were present. It 
is said, that they did not pass sentence against him in this Synod, on account of 
his promising to give up his error; but that he did not do so. The second 
Council held against him at Antioch, and in which he was formally condemned, 
was held about the year 270. Which of these two Synods is referred to by the 
writers quoted above, is somewhat doubtful. 

3 See Athanas. De Synod. Arimhi. et Seleuc. habitis. § 43 and 44. torn. i. 
P. 2. p. 757. 

4 Basil. C^:s. Ep. 52. Op. ed. Bened. torn. hi. p. 145. 

8 Hilar. Pictav. De Synod. § 81. Op. ed. Bened. col. 1196. 

8 Ka\ yap r<p eWt, oi M Tlav\(? r<f> '2a/jio<raTft <rvv*\Q6vTts $i*$a\ov tV \e(iP 


orthodox opinion was maintained; as was the case, as Atha- 
nasius tells us, with some in his time ; of whom, nevertheless, 
he says, " With respect to those who fully receive everything 
" else of the things written at Nice, (Nicaea,) but doubt only 
" respecting the word ' consubstantial,' it is not right to look 
" upon them as enemies ; for we also do not contend with them 
w as against Arians, nor as persons fighting against the Fathers, 
" [that is, the Nicene bishops, according to the frequent use of 
" the word by Athanasius,] but reason with them as brethren 
" with brethren, holding the same view with us, but differing 
" only about the word." x And, a little further on, he allows, 
" that " of the Fathers [i. e. the Fathers in general] some 
" spoke in favor of, and some against, the word ' consubstan- 
** tial.' " 2 The phrase " consubstantial with the Father/' there- 
fore, had not the sanction of Church-Tradition. 

Consequently, when the bishops assembled at Nice used it, 
the responsibility of so using it, rested upon them ; and it was 
evidently so used by them, because, in their judgment, it best 
expressed the Scriptural doctrine. So, indeed, Athanasius him- 
self tells us; for, having explained and defended the phrase 
from Scripture, and supported it on the ground, that, though 
not in Scripture, it expressed the sense we derive from Scriptui'e 
of the matter, he adds, (in the passage quoted above) — "They, 
u therefore, who were assembled at Nice, holding this view, 
" used, also, such expressions." And then he proceeds to say, 
that " moreover" they did not invent the word, but made use 
of one which had been used by some who went before them. 

Mr. Keble's argument, therefore, in favor of the authority 
of Church-Tradition, because "the Fathers went to Church- 
Tradition for the word consubstantial," is altogether a mistake. 

[i. e. bjxoovffiov] Sis ovk etjT]xov. "E<pa<rav yap tKfivoi, Trjy toG bfioovtrlov (puiv^v 
irapHTrav tvvoiav ovcrias re Kal twv o7r' avTrjs, uxrre KarafjLtptffdei(rav r))v ovcriav 
irapex ilv T °v ofioovviov ti\v Trpoa-qyopiav rots eis a Siypfdr). BASIL. C^S. Ep. 52. 
(al. 300.) Op. ed. Bened. torn. iii. p. 145. 

1 Tlpbs 8e robs &7ro8excvueVous ra. fiev &\\a Tavra rSiv eV Ni/caia ypa(p4vTU>v, v tpl 
Se fj.6vov rb bfxooixnov afi<pi^d\\ovTas, XPV f^V & s T'pbs ixdpobs StaKfTcrdac Kal 
yap Kal rifitls ovx &>s irpbs 'Apetofiaviras, oi/5' ws fiaxofitvovs irpbs tovs warepas 
eVt(TTa / u.e0a ) oAA.' &>s aSeAcpol irpbs a5e\<pobs 8ia\ey6n*6a, t^p avT^v /xiv r)fxiv 8ta- 
voiav ix ovras i 7re P' S* T ^ oi/0/j.a \xivov SiffTa^ouras. ATHANAS. Dc Syn. Ariin. 

et Seleuc. hab. § 41. torn. i. Pt. 2. p. 755. 

2 OCJtojs et Kal rwv izaTtpuiv, ol fitv ovrus, oi 5e o'vtws fipriKaci irepl rod Sfxoov- 
aiou, fi?y (ptKoveiKwiAev ^M e <*> K - T - *•■ AthaXAS. it). § 46. p. 761. 


"What is perhaps still more extraordinary in Mr. Keble's 
account of the acts of the Council, is, that he brings in the name 
of Bishop Taylor as one who has, in his review of the proceedings 
at Nice, sanctioned his statements. For, at the close of his 
account, heading his page with the words, " Proceedings at 
" Nicaa, how related by Jackson, by Leslie, and by Bishop 
Taylor," he gives the following passage from the bishop, — 
" Bishop Taylor says, (x. 462.) ' It is not certain that the 
" Nicene Fathers, at their meeting, recited any other Creed than 
" the Apostolical/ assuming that they recited some Creed." 
(p. 139.) "What support Mr. Keble's views can receive from 
this statement, I do not see; but the obvious intention is, to 
lead the reader to suppose, that the bishop's account of the 
" proceedings at Nicsea," is similar to that we are reviewing. 
Now, in the very same work from which Mr. Keble has quoted 
this passage, Bishop Taylor says, — " Whatever it was which 
" was there [i. e. at Nice] determined, I am sure it was not 
" determined by Tradition, but by Scripture" — "When Constan- 
" tine the emperor exhorted the Nicene Fathers to concord in 
" the question then to be disputed, they being divine matters, 
" he would they should be ended by the authority of the divine 
" Scriptures. ' For, saith he, the books of the Evangelists and 
" the Apostles, as also the oracles of the old prophets, do evi- 
" dently teach us, what we are to think of the Deity. There - 
" fore all seditious contention being laid aside, let us determine 
" the things brought into question by the testimonies of the 
" divinely-inspired Scriptures/ And they did so. And by re- 
" lying on Scriptures only, we shall never be constrained to quit 
" these glorious portions of evangelical truth, the incarnation of 
" the Eternal Word, and the consubstantiality of the Father and 

" the Son." — " The Arians offered to be tried by Tradition 

" St. Athanasius did sometimes pretend to it, though not always ; 
" and this shows, that there was no clear, indubitate, notorious, 
" universal tradition in the question ; and if there were not such 
" an one, as good none at all ; for it could not be such a founda- 
" tion as was fit to build our faith upon, especially in such 
" mysterious articles. But it is remarkable what Eusebius 
" (Eccl. Hist. lib. 5. c. 28) recites out of an old author, who 
cf wrote against the heresy of Artcmon, which afterwards Samo- 


cnus renewed, and Arius made public with some alteration. 
<( 'They all say/ says he, 'that our ancestors and the Apostles 
*' themselves not only received from our Lord those things 
" which they now affirm, but that they taught it to others j and 
" the preaching or tradition of it run on to the days of Pope 
rf Victor, and was kept entire, but was depraved by Pope Zephy- 
tc rinus. And truly that which was said by them, might seem 
" to have in it much of probability, if the Divine Scriptures did 
" not first of all contradict them ; and that there were writings 
" of some brethren older than the times of Victor.' The brethren, 
ie whose writings he names, are Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Cle- 
ee mens, Irenasus, and the psalms and hymns of divers, made in 
** honour of Christ. From all which it is evident, that the ques- 
u tions at Nice were not, and could not be determined by Tradition. 
" 2. That tradition might be, and was, pretended on both sides. 
** 3. That when it is pretended by the contradicting parties, 
" with some probability, it can effectually serve neither. 4. That 
** the tradition the Samosatenians and Arians boasted of, had in 
" it much probability, when looked upon in its own series and 
" proper state. 5. That the divine Scriptures were at that time 
" the best firmament of the Church, and defended her from 
" that abuse which might have been imposed upon her, under 
** the title of Tradition/' &C. 1 

Such is the clear statement of Bishop Taylor, in opposition to 
the account given us by Mr. Keble. 

The quotation from Dr. Jackson is certainly more in his 
favor. But, of course, no statements of modern writers can 
have any authority in the matter, except so far as they are borne 
out by the reports left us by the antients of the proceedings of 
the Council. 

The statement quoted from Leslie, referring, not to the 
Council of Nice, but to the preceding pi'ovincial Synod at Alex- 
andria against Arius, is so glaringly incorrect, that it is worth 
no one's picking up. " This," says Leslie, " was the method 
" taken in the Council called at Alexandria against Arius ; it 
" was asked by Alexander, the Archbishop, who presided, Quis 
" unquam talia audivit ? Who ever heard of this doctrine be- 

1 Br. Tatlok's Dissuasive from Popery, Pt. 2. bk 1. § 3. Works, vol. x, 
j'!>. 1^8—30. 


" fore ? And it being answered by all the bishops there assembled* 
" in the negative, it was concluded a novel doctrine, and contrary 
" to what had been universally received in the Christian Church." 
Let the reader only compare this statement with the extracts 
given above from Alexander's letter, from which it professes to 
be taken, and he will then be able to judge, how far he can 
trust to such loose references to antient writings, even when 
made by men of the highest integrity. The whole statement 
about the bishops answering in the negative, and its being 
therefore concluded a novel doctrine, &c, is not only a com- 
plete fiction, but directly contrary to the representation actually 
given in the letter of Alexander; to which we may add, that 
Sozomen expressly tells us, that the matter was so hotly de- 
bated in this Council, that its members could not agree among 
themselves in the matter ; but that Alexander at last decided 
in favor of those who supported the view of the Son's consub- 
stantiality and co-eternity with the Father. 1 

Mr. Keble concludes with three more references to Athana- 
sius, and one to Epiphanius, upon which it is necessary to 
offer a few remarks. 

The first passage 2 is adduced to prove " the instinctive and 
" inevitable comparison which the new doctrines underwent 
" with those before received," and (as I suppose Mr. Keble 
would have us conclude) the consequent rejection of the new. 
But the passage is merely an appeal to the reader, whether he 
had not always understood the word Son, learned in his first 
catechism, as implying identity of substance with the Father, 
and consequently whether he had not been surprised at the doc- 
trine of Arius, as something different from what he had been 
always taught ; an appeal which the strongest opponents of Mr. 

KpiTTjs Kadicras [i. c. 'AAe'lcceSpoj] <rvv rots into rod K\ripov, els dfiiWav 
a/xeporepovs ijyayev cos Se avfifiaiveiv <pi\e7 wepl ras eptSas tcov \6ycov, exevrepos vmqv. ~2.vvLo-Ta.Tai Se "Apeios /J.ev to7s Trap' avTov elprifievots' ol Se, cos 
6-fj.oovffios Kal crvvalSios etn\v 6 vlbs rqi Tlarpl. ~%vveSpiov Se 7raA.1v yevofievov, 
roaavTas Sta\e£eis avaKivr}ffavres, ov ffvve^crav aAArjAois. 'A/x<pr]pliTTOv Se tt)s 
fijTTjcreais en 5okovo-t]s elvai, ireTrovOe ri Kal 'AXe^avSpos ra. irpuira, try) jxev tovtovs, 
7rr) Se eKeivovs eiraivcov TeKevrSiv Se, tois &fioovo~wv Kal avvalSwv elvai rbv vlbi> 
airO(patvofievois eOeTO, Kal tov *Apewv d/xoicos <ppove"iv eiteAevcre, twv evavTiuv \6ycov 
atpepevov. Sozomen. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 15. (al. 14.) Inter Hist. Eccles. Grace. 
ed. Reading, torn. ii. pp. 31, 32. 

1 Athanas. Orat. 2a. contra Arian. § 34. torn. i. p. 502. See Keble's Sena. 
pp. 139, 140. 


Keble's views would not hesitate to make in a similar case, and 
which, therefore, we may pass over without further remark. 

" Secondly/ 5 adds Mr. Keble, " he [i. e. Athanasius] presents 
" the Creed to the Emperor Jovian, not merely as the judgment 
" of the present Church on the meaning of the Scriptures, but 
" rather as her testimony to the fact that ' this faith had all 
" along been known to all in the Church, being learned and 
" read out of the divine Scriptures. For, in this, the saints 
" being perfected, endured martyrdom.' " l Now, in the origin 
nal, there is not one word to authorize the observation with 
which this citation is introduced, as to the presentation of the 
Creed to the Emperor Jovian, as the Church's testimony to the 
fact, &c. ; nor anything corresponding to the apparent quota- 
tion, that " this faith had all along been known to all in the 
Church." The passage, with the preceding contest, is this. 
" Your piety, therefore, being desirous of learning from us the 
" faith of the Catholic Church, having given thanks for this to 
" the Lord, we have thought good above all things to bring to 
" the remembrance of your piety the Creed confessed by the 
" Fathers at Nice (Nicsea). For, some having rejected this, have 
" in various ways plotted against us, because we do not assent to 
" the Arian heresy, and have become the causes of heresy and 
" schisms in the Catholic Church. For, the true and pious 
" faith in the Lord hath stood forth evident to all, being known 
" and read out of the divine Scriptures. For, in this, the saints 
" being perfected, endured martyrdom," &c. 2 Now this pas- 
sage, so far from being favorable to Mr. Keble's view, is 
directly opposed to it ; for it expressly tells us, that the true 
faith is evideat to all, as being known and read out of the divine 

1 Keble's Serm. p. 140. 

2 0€A.rj<ra(T7?j roivvv rrjs <rrjs euere/Seias ixafiziv irap' Tip-toy ri)V rrjs Kado\iKr)s 
'E/c/cA7j<rtos TrifTTtv, evxapi<Trr)cravres eirl rovrois t<£ Kvpiai, tf}ov\ev<Tafj.e6a /j-aWov 
■KO.VTWV rr\v irapa. rav Tlarepaiv iv tiiKaia dfi.o\oyrj6e?(rav -rricrriv inrofxyrjaai rrjv 
a\\v tvfff$eiav rainrjv yap aBtrijaavrts rives, rifilv fxtv ttoikiAois twf$ov\(V(rav, 
8ti fir) iir€id6fxe8a rfj 'Apeiavfj alptaei' aXrioi Se yey6vaaiv alptertoos Kal crxicf^ariup 
rfj KaOoXtK] 'EKKA.7)o p i<r r) i>Xv yap <xAtj07js Kal tvcrefiris els rbv Kvpiov irlaris (pavepa 
iracri Kade<TTi}Key, e'/c rwv Qeltuv ypacpaiv yivoicrKoixevr) re Kal avayivuiffKoyLevrf ev 
rainy yap Kal ol ayioi reXeioiQevres e/j.aprvpr)a , av, k. r. \. ATHANAS. Epist. 
ad Jovian. § 1. torn. i. P. 2. p. 780. The Benedictine translation of the latter 
part is, — nemini tamen obscura esse potest vera et pia in Dominum fides, ut quce 
ex divinis Scripturis haberi et internosei queat, 


The next quotation stands thus ; — ff The Fathers inserted the 
" clause of the Son's consubstantiality with the Father, and ana- 
" thematized those who affirmed a diversity of substance, not in 
" terms which they had framed for themselves, but which they too 
" had learned from the Fathers before them .... which being so, 
" the Creed of Nicsea is sufficient, agreeing as it does also with 
" the antient bishops." " This/' adds Mr. Keble, " shows in 
" what light the framers of the Creed wished it to be viewed." 
Now the real passage, as it stands in Athanasius, is, in more 
than one point, very different, and runs thus ; — " The Fathers, 
" having taken this view of the matter, wrote that the Son was 
" consubstantial with the Fathei', and anathematized those 
" who say, that the Son is of a different substance ; not having 
" invented phrases for themselves, but having themselves learnt 
" them from the Fathers before them, as we have said. These 
" things, therefore, being thus demonstrated, their Synod at Arimi- 
" cum is superfluous ; and the other Synod concerning the faith 
" named by them, is superfluous ; for that at Nice [Niccea] is 
" sufficient, being also in agreement with the antient bishops, in 
" which also their Fathers subscribed." 1 Now, here, all is con- 
sistent with the accounts we have already quoted from Athana- 
sius. The Fathers, taking that view of the matter, which 
Athanasius had been just before describing, — that is, as to 
the doctrine of Holy Scripture on the subject, — wrote, on 
that authority, that the Son was consubstantial with the 
Father ; and in so doing, did not use an expression which 
was entirely new ; for some of the earlier Fathers had used it, 
which, of course, as far as it went, was an argument in its favor. 
And these matters having been in the Nicene Council fully in- 
vestigated, and demonstrated to be as the Nicene Creed repre- 
sented them to be, it was unnecessary that any other Council 
should be called upon the same matter ; the decision of the 
Council of Nice having also the argument in its favor, as it 
appeared to him, that it was in unison with that of many antient 

1 O'vTU) yorjffavTes ol Tlarepes eypatyav bfxooxxrwv elvai rbv vlbv rep Tlarpl, ical 
aveBefxaTiffav rovs \eyovras, e| erepas viroaracreais eivai rbv vl6v oi>x tavrols 
Tr\a<rd.fxevoi A.e|«(S, a\Aa i«x) avTol anb tu>v irpb avruiv irarepivv /xaBSvres, KaOairep 
eliro/xev. Tovriov 5e uutw b"eiKWf/.€V(i>v, TrepiTrk, avTuv T) 'Apl/xrivos, wepiTri] i<al 
7) &\\r) Trap' avrav dvona^o/xevr) Trtp\ ixianuis ffvvoSos' apKt'i yap t) eV Ni/ca(a, avjx- 
(pcovos ovffa kcu rots apxaiois i-jricncuirois, iv ?T xai ol irarepts avrwv virtyptxtyav. 
Athanas. Kjiist ul Afros Episc. § 9. torn. i. 1'. '1. p. bl)8. 


bishops. The reader will observe, not only the different turn 
given to the sentence by the words omitted by Mr. Keble at 
the beginning of it, but more especially that the stringent 
words, " which being so, the Creed of Niccea is sufficient," are 
a complete (no doubt unintentional) misrepresentation of the 

To these three passages of Athanasius, quoted by Mr. Keble, 

I would add for his consideration the two following. In his 
Letter concerning the decrees of the Nicene Council, Athanasius, 
after discussing the points controverted at Nice, adds these 
words, — " And of these things we are certified, not from any 
external source, but from the Scriptures." 1 Moreover, how un- 
willingly even a word was used, not found expressly in the Scrip- 
tures, we may judge from the following passage in the same 
Letter. " But, perhaps, being reproved for the word uncreated, 
" they will themselves, in their impiety, say, It behoves us, also, 
" with respect to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to speak 
' ' from the Scriptures those things which are written respecting him, 
" and not to introduce phrases not to be found in the Scriptures. 
" It does, indeed, behove us so to do, I should myself also 
" say, for the representations of the truth derived from the Scriptures 
" are much more exact, than those derived from any other source ; 

II but the perverseness, and artful and versatile impiety of the 
" Eusebians, compelled the bishops, as I before said, to set forth 
<e words more plainly subversive of their impiety ; and those 
" words which were written by the Council have been proved to 
" have a right sense." 2 From which we may see, that the use 
of the words by preceding bishops, formed no sufficient autho- 
rity, in the estimation of Athanasius, for their being considered 

1 Kal tovtuv ovk e£a.'9ev f]fi.e7s, a\\ y eK iwv ypacpccv exofiev ri)v iriariv. 
AxHAHAB. De Decret. Xic. Syn. § 17. torn. i. p. 222. 

2 'AAA' laws Kal 5ia rh ovofxa rh ayevryrov eKeyxOevres, irovijpol rhv Tpoirov 
ovres, e6e\ri<rovcn Kal avrol \eyeiv eSet Kal irepl rou Kvplov Kal 2,u>Trjpos f)/J.wi> 
Ir](rov Xpicrrov 4k tuv ypa(pu>v ra irepl avrov yeypa/xfieva \eyeff6ai, Kal fii] aypd- 
<pous eireHTayeffdai \e£eis. Nol e5ei, <paii)v av Kal eyajye - a.Kpi0e<rrepa yap eK twv 
ypa<p(Hv fj.a\kov 4} 4£ trepan/ ecrrl ra rrjt a\r)0elas yvupia/xara' a.W' f) KaKorjdeia 
Kal pera iravovpytas ira\lnfio\oi a<ref3eia twv irepl Evcre^iou 7]vdyKacre, Kada 
irpoe'iirov, rovs eiri<TK6irovs KevK6repov eK0ecr6ai to tt)v aaefieiav axrruv avarpeirovra 
^/uora - Kal to /xee irapa tt)j <rvv6Sov ypa<pevra biavoiav bpQriv exovra SeSeiKTat. 
ATHAKAS. De Uecret. Xic. Syn. § 32. torn. i. p. 237. 


orthodox ; and that Scripture was so completely the sole autho- 
rity followed, that even words not found therein, though appear- 
ing to express a Scriptural sense, were very reluctantly used. 

I might add many similar passages, as where he says, that the 
bishops " collecting from the Scriptures their meaning, expressed 
the matter more clearly, and used the term ' consubstantial.' ' n 
But more can hardly be desired. 

There remains one more of Mr. Keble's citations, to be 
noticed, viz., that from Epiphanius, — which, according to 
Mr. Keble, runs thus ; — " They professed the faith of the 
" Fathers, orthodox and unswerving ; and delivered down 
" to us from the Apostles and Prophets," (p. 141) ; the real 
passage being this ; " They profess the orthodox faith of 
" the lathers, which is also immutable, and was delivered by 
" the Apostles and Prophets." 2 The notion of succession al de- 
livery, implied in the terms " down to us," has no place in the 
original, and if it had, the passage would only state a matter of 
fact which we do not call in question. 

Wearisome as the examination of these passages may have 
been, the result will, I think, have proved the necessity of it, 
and produce at least one good effect, namely, that the reader 
will be set on his guard in this matter, and prevented from 
hastily putting credence in such representations, without com- 
paring them with the originals ; as it is evident, from the speci- 
mens given above, how completely he may be misled, even 
where, as in the case before us, he may have every motive for 
confidence which character can give. 

I have now gone through the whole of Mr. Keble's arguments 
and authorities, by which he has attempted to support his view 
of the mode of proceeding adopted at Nice, and shall leave the 
reader to judge how far his conclusion holds good, that the 
TS T icene Fathers were " earnest and constant in resorting to Tra- 
" dition, in order to decide among conflicting interpretations 
" of Scripture, and settle the fundamentals of our most holy 

1 IvvayaySfrts tK twv ypa<pu>v tt\v hiavoiav, AcvKOTtpov yp&<povres eip^Kcwi rb 
dfjLoovaiov. Id. De Synod, i. P. 2. p. 760. 

2 'OfJioXoyovcri rr\v rSiv Tlonipuv opd68o£ov irlariv xal d«A.tJTj, Kal airb tSiv 
'Atto(tt6\wi' ko! Upo<pt\rwv irapaHoOuffav. Epipit. Adv. bser. ; in Leer. Arian. § 11. 
Op. ed. Petav. torn. i. p. 735. 


" faith. " (p. 141.) One thing only I would add, and that is, 
that when he speaks as if those who opposed his views discarded 
the testimony of the Primitive Church to the faith as useless, 
and no help to the understanding of Scripture, or argument in 
favor of that interpretation which it supports, he very sadly 
misrepresents their sentiments. The question, the sole question 
is, whether we have an infallible Church-Tradition, binding the 
conscience to receive what it delivers as the meaning of Scripture, 
or whether our faith ought to rest on Scripture only. We affirm 
the latter, and also thatsuch was the mind oftheNicene and earlier 
Fathers, who appealed to the testimony of Fathers who went 
before them, not as a testimony binding upon the conscience, 
(and thus practically superseding Scripture,) but as one which 
might reasonably be an additional moral inducement to lead men 
to believe, that the doctrine they supported was the doctrine of 
Scripture ; and in the consciousness that it was but reasonable, 
that such testimony in favor of their views should be required 
of them, to show that they were not novelists. Church-Tradition, 
in that sense in which alone it could be considered "practically 
infallible/' as Mr. Keble calls it, namely, as implying a strictly 
universal consent, never could and never can be had, even for 
any one moment, during the whole period of the Church's 
existence. That such was the mind of the Nicene Fathers, is 
evident from the course of their deliberations, as described by 
Athanasius. Had they held the notions of our opponents on 
the subject, there would have been some reference made by them 
to Ecclesiastical Tradition as the authoritative interpreter of 
Scripture, and consequently their authority for the interpretation 
they gave to Scripture in their decision. But, on the contrary, 
we find from the various passages given above from Athanasius, 
that their judgment was given directly from Scripture, without 
any such reference. Nay, they had evidently no idea of being 
in possession of any such authoritative interpretation, for it 
appears that their intention and great desire was to use nothing 
but phrases occurring in Scripture, and that they very reluctantly 
adopted a word not found in Scripture, and then only on the 
consideration that that word seemed compendiously to express 
the meaning of a number of Scriptural phrases they had collected 


together for the purpose of obtaining the sense of Scripture on 
the subject. 

Let our opponents hear one of their own chosen witnesses, 
Bishop Patrick, — " This tradition [i. e. the Nicene Creed] sup- 
" poses the Scripture for its ground ; and delivers nothing but 
" what the Fathers assembled at Nice believed to be contained 
" there, and was first fetched from thence." 1 

Nay, even a Romanist may be found giving the same account 
of the matter. " The Council," says Tilleniont, " perceiving 
" their hypocrisy, collected together all the Scripture expressions 
" which related to the Son, and comprehended them all under 
" the word consubstantial, which is to say, of the same substance ; 
" and all the bishops, after long considering it, agreed to that 
" term. It was thus that, after having thoroughly examined 
11 all the doctrine of the Evangelists and Apostles, the Prelates, 
" grounding their determination upon the Holy Scriptures, settled 
" with great caution the perfect rule of the catholic faith. They 
" had likewise a more particular reason for using that term. 
" For, the Council having seen, by the Letter of Eusebius of 
" Nicomedia, which we spoke of before, that the Arians looked 
" upon the consubstantiality as diametrically opposite to their 
fC heresy, they were willing to make use of that sword against 
" them which they had drawn out of the scabbard themselves." 2 

The same reference to Scripture as the sole authority upon 
which our faith is to rest in this matter, is observable in the 
passage of Dionysius Romanus, given to us by Athanasius on 
this subject, from a work of his against the Sabellians. " Not 
" less also," he says, " must one blame those who think that the 
" Son is a creature, and suppose that the Lord was made like 
" any one of. things truly made, since the divine oracles bear wit- 
" ness, that his generation was such as was meet and fitting for 
" him, and that he is not a creature formed and made. It is no 
" slight, but rather the greatest blasphemy, therefore, to say, 
" that the Lord was in any way made by hands. For if the 
" Son was made, there was a time when he was not ; but he was 

1 Bishop Patrick's Discourse about Tradition. Lond. 1683. p. 18. 

5 Tiliemoxt's History of the Arians, translated by Deacon, vol. ii. p. 623. 
The last statement in the above passage is derived from AliBBOS. De fide, 
lib. hi c. 7. 


" in existence always, if he is in the Father, [Jo.xiv. 11.] as he 
" himself says ; and if Christ is the Word, and Wisdom, and 
" Power ; for the divine Scriptures say, that Christ is these, as ye 
" know .... To the absurdities that follow from saying that the 
" Son is a creature, the leaders of this opinion do not appear to 
" me to have attended, and consequently to have erred altogether 
" from the truth, having understood the passage, ' The Lord 
" created me in the beginning of his ways/ [Prov. viii. 22.] con- 
" trary to the meaning of the divine and prophetic Scripture in this 
" respect. For, the word ' created/ as ye know, has more than 
" one signification .... And any one may see, that the Son is 
" often said by the divine oracles to have been begotten, but not, 
" to have been made ; by which they who embrace false notions 
" respecting the generation of the Lord, are evidently condemned, 
" who dare to say that his divine and unutterable generation 
" was a creation. Therefore, we must not divide the wonderful 
" and divine unity into three divinities, nor diminish by 
" the notion of creation the dignity and excellent greatness 
" of the Lord, but believe in God the Father Almighty, and in 
" Jesus Christ his Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and that the 
" "Word is united to the God of the Universe ; for he says, ' I 
" and my Father are one ; ' [Jo. x. 30.] and, ' I am in the 
" Father and the Father in me/ [Jo. xiv. 10.]" x 

There is not in the whole passage the slightest allusion to 
anything but Scripture ; not one word to lead us to suppose, that 
he knew anything of Ecclesiastical Tradition as the authoritative 
interpreter of Scripture. 

In conclusion, I will add a few words on an argument which, 
as it has been used by the Romanists, may possibly be resorted 
to by the Tractators. They will perhaps be disposed to reply, — 
True, these Fathers did go to Scripture only for their proof, and 
appeared to draw their conclusions directly from Scripture, but 
this was only because their adversaries refused and rejected Eccle- 
siastical Tradition ; but the authority upon which they rested in 
their own minds for their interpretation of Scripture, and which 
they felt themselves bound in conscience to obey, was Ecclesias- 

1 Diony3. Rom. Adv. Sabell. cit. in Athanas. J)c Deoret. Nic. Synod. § 26. 
torn. i. p. 231. 


tical Tradition. This is in fact their last hold; and, like the Ro- 
manists, they studiously endeavour to make us suppose, that the 
heretics rejected Ecclesiastical Tradition ; l but it is a refuge 
wholly untenable. For, the supposed fact upon which the argu- 
ment is founded, is anything but a fact. The heretics were re- 
markable for appealing to Tradition. In the case of Arius, now 
before us, we find him making a direct appeal to the testimony 
of Antiquity as in his favor, and in a Letter of his to Pope 
Alexander, preserved by Epiphanius, he introduces his Creed as 
the Creed which he had learnt from his ancestors." This is a point, 
however, to which we have already directed the reader's atten- 
tion, 3 and therefore I would only observe here, that it is a complete 
reply to any such objection as we have supposed against our 
availing ourselves of the full value of the testimony which the 
conduct of the Nicene Council bears to the correctness of the 
views we are advocating. And hence we may estimate the ac- 
curacy of Mr. Newman's statement, that " when the history of 
" Arianism is examined, this peculiarity will be found respecting 
" it, that it appealed only to Scripture, not to Catholic Tradi- 
u tion ;" 4 which, from one who professes to have examined its 
history, and has published a book on the subject, is somewhat 

The Tractators must pardon me for saying, that their state- 
ments, when taken as a whole, incontestably prove, that they 
have taken up their views not from a careful and impartial pe- 
rusal of the Fathers themselves, but from the works of Romish 
and semi-Romish writers ; for they are involved in almost all 
their misrepresentations and mistakes. 

In the preceding observations I have abstained from noticing 
the statements of Gelasius of Cyzicus respecting the proceedings of 
the Council, because their authority has been questioned by some ; 
but I may here add some passages from that author, showing 

1 See Newman's Lect. on Rom. &c. Lect. 7 ; &c. 

2 'H tt'httis rifxwv T) e/c irpoy6vuv, %v koI a-rrb crov /jLe/xaOriKafiev, (landpie nd-rra, 
tffriv avrrj. Epiphan. Adv. haer. ; in haer. Arian. § 7. Op. ed. Petav. torn. i. 
p. 732. 

3 See vol. i. pp. 374 — 378. See, also, besides the passages there mentioned, 
Soceat. Hist. Eccl. i. 26. 

4 Newman's Lect. on Rom. &c. p. 205. 


that his account agrees with the view we have taken above, or 
rather, I should say, with the account we have quoted from 
Athanasius, of those proceedings ; and certainly they afford a 
probable testimony of at least the principles by which the 
Council was governed; for, even supposing that we are indebted 
to the inventive powers of Gelasius, or the more antient author 
from whom he professes to quote, for much of the matter con- 
tained in his details, yet the great principles by which the 
Council was governed, are surely not likely to have been mis- 
represented so soon after it was held. 

Thus, then, speaks Gelasius ; — " That divine assembly of or- 
" thodox priests of God that, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, in- 
" vestigated and set forth, by means of the Prophetical and Evan- 
" gelical and Apostolical Scriptures, concerning the Word of Life, 
" that is, the Son of God, that he is truly uncreated in his Divine 
u . nature, and not a creature, as that most impious enemy of 
" God, Arius, blasphemously said against him, is truly Sion, 
" and Jerusalem, and the high mountain of the Lord, and the 

11 house of the God of Jacob And this venerable and 

11 holy rule of the spotless faith hath been to us in very deed a 
" high mountain of God from above, according as the word 
" spoken by the Lord himself first manifested, and which was 
" delivered by the Apostles, and has now been declared by his 
" priests assembled at Nice by Scriptural testimonies." x " And 
" they [the Fathers at Nice] proclaimed him to be the Maker 
" and Former of the things visible and invisible, according to 
" the Apostolical faith delivered to his Church from the begin- 
" ning, having set forth the proofs by Scriptural testimonies." 2 

1 'AAtjOcSs yap ~2.ioiv Kal 'lepov(ra\rjp. Kal opos Kvpiov inf/ij^ra^ov Kal oTkos rov 
Qeov 'Ia/coj/3, 6 9t?os zKiivos roiv rov 0eoD bpOoSo^tnv lepeow 8/j.lKos' Trvev/xart dyloi 
Siao'Kityap.i'vQiv Kal ira'pdarr)0'dvrwv Sid re ypa<pwv Wpo<pT]r ikoiv Kal EvayyeXiK&v 
Kal ' AirocrToAiKvif irepl rov \6yov rrjs faivjs, rovr tan rod vlov rov Qeov, ws aKrjdws 
&Kricrros rrj rrjs Qtorr)ros (pvaei, Kal ov Kr'iap.a m KaOws 5 8enfj.dxos Kal dcre^icrraros 

Kar avrov efSXao-<pr)p.T)o-ev "Apeio s Kal d\ridws inprjkbv opos Qeov dvuidev 

ripilv, (Kadd irpoeSi)Ku>aev & \6yos "nap' avrov rov Kvpiov, Sid rail' 'AiroaroXwv Sodels, 
Kal vvv Sid roiv avrov Upetiiv Kara rr\v tiiKaewv ypa<piKais fiaprvpiais rpavcoOeis,) S 
irpoffKvvqrbs ovros Kal dytos rrjs dp.<iip.rirov ir'icrrews opos. GELAS. Cyzic. Com- 
ment. Act. Cone. Nic. ed. Balf. 1599. lib. i. c. 9. pp. 28, 9. 

2 Kriffr^v re avrbv Kal Sr\p.iovpybv bparwv re Kal aopdroiv (K-fipv^av, Ka*a rr)u 
dveKaBev TrapaSodeTcrau rrj eKK\r)ff'ia avrov diroo'roXiKrjv iriariv, ypa<piKais fxaprv- 
piais rds dnoSel^eis iKSaiaavns. lb. lib. ii. c. 11. p. 94. 



Further on, having spoken of the disputation between the 
bishops and a philosopher who was advocating the cause of 
Arius, he says, "By the divine word, as with fire, they con- 
sumed all the subtle pretences of the philosopher like tow." 1 
And so in a response made to the philosopher by Macarius, 
bishop of Jerusalem, in the name of the Council, we find the 
bishop speaking thus, — " We have already admonished you, 
" that we must not by any means use the word, c how/ with 
" respect to the divine mysteries. For they are unutterable 
11 and incomprehensible. But, according as we have been taught 
" out of the sacred oracles, we will speak, so far as words will 
" enable us to set them forth." 2 

The weight necessarily attaching to the proceedings of such 
a Council will, I am convinced, render any apology needless for 
the space here given to it ; and I trust that the testimonies 
adduced above can leave no doubt on the mind of the impartial 
reader what was the authority, the sole authority recognised by 
the bishops there assembled, in their deliberations respecting 
the faith. 

How little the notions of Dr. Pusey and his party respecting 
this Council, either as to the nature of its proceedings, or its 
authority, agree with those of the Fathers, may be judged from 
the following passage of the excellent Hilary of Poictiers. " As 
" in winter, in a stormy sea, it is the safest course to be ob- 
" served by mariners, that when a storm rages, they should 
' ' return to the port whence they set out ; or, as it befits care- 
" less 3 T ouths, that when, in maintaining their own family, 
" having exceeded the mode of living adopted by their parents, 
tc they have made an undue use of their liberty, there should 
" be a return, as the only safe and necessary course, under fear 
" of losing their patrimony, to parental habits ; so amidst these 
" shipwrecks of the faith, the heirship of the heavenly patri- 
" mony being almost lost, it is safest for us to retain the first 

Tlacras yap ras tov (pi\oo~6<pov ito\vtt\6kovs irporacreis, ws trvpl, t<£> Beiw \6y&, 
(TTviririov Siktjv, Ka.Tai"f)\i(TKOv. lb. lib. ii. c. 13. p. 99 (misprinted 89.) 

H877 dprjKafiev aoi, Si ffeKriffTe, /utjSo/xcSj inl rwv tov Qeov /uucmjpiau' \iyciv 
rb onus. 'Air6pp , T]Ta. yap el(r} Ka\ a.yeirt\6yicrTa. 'Cls 5e in rwv Upwv \6ywv «'5i- 
SaxQyfJ.ei', '6o~ov 6 \6yos irapaaTrio-ai Si/^creraj. lb. lib. ii. c. - 1, 
p. 154. 


" and sole evangelical faith confessed and understood at baptism, 
" [which he tells us elsewhere was not the Nicene Creed, which 
" he did not hear of till long after,] 1 and not to change that 
" which alone, as received and heard, I am disposed to accept as 
" my Creed; not indeed that those things which are contained 
" in the Creed agreed to at the synod of our Fathers are to be 
" condemned as irreligiously and wickedly written, but because 
" through the boldness of men they are used as a handle for 
" objections . . . [and having added an intimation that one 
" emendation leads to another, he proceeds thus :] How much 
" do I now admire thee, Lord Constantius our Emperor, for your 
" blessed and religious resolve, who dost wish to know the faith 


" and deservedly address yourself to those very declarations them- 
" selves of the only-begotten of God, that your heart, charged ivith 
" the cares of empire, may also be filled with the knowledge of the 
u divine ivords. He ivho repudiates this is antichrist, and he ivho 
" feigns it is anathema." 2 

A passage more completely condemnatory of the views of 
Dr. Pusey and his party could hardly be penned. So far from 
telling us, that the additions made to the Creed at Nice were 

1 " Regeneratus pridem et in episcopatu aliquantisper manens, fidem Ni- 
caenam nunquani nisi exsulaturus audivi." Hilab. Pict. De Synod. § 91. Op. ed. 
Bened. col. 1205. 

2 " Quod bienie undoso mari observari a navigantibus maxime tutum est, ut, 
naufragio desseviente, in portum ex quo solverant revertantur; vel incautk 
adolescentibus convenit, ut cum in tuenda domo sua, mores paternae obser- 
vantise transgressi, profusa libertate sua usi sunt, jam sub ipso amittendi pa- 
trimonii metu solus illis ad paternam consuetudinem necessarius et tutus 
recursus sit; ita inter hsec fidei naufragia, ccelestis patrimonii jam pane pro- 
fligata ha?reditate, tutissimum nobis est, primam et solam evangelicam 
fidem confessam in baptismo intellectamque retinere, nee demutare quod 
solum acceptum atque auditum babeo bene credere : non ut ea, quae synodo 
patrum nostrorum continentur, tamquam irreligiose et impie scripta damnanda 
sint, sed quia per temeritatem bumanam usurpantur ad contradictionem. . . . 
In quantum ego nunc beata? religiosaeque voluntatis vere te, Domine Con- 
stauti Imperator, admiror, fidem tantum secundum ea quae scripta sunt desi- 
derantem; et merito plane ad ilia ipsa TJnigeniti Dei eloquia festinans, ut 
imperatoriae soUicitudinis capax pectus etiam divinorum dictorum conscientia 
plenum sit. Hoc qui repudiat, anticbristns est; et qui siniulat, anathema 
est." Hilab Pictav. Ad Constant. Aug. lib. u. §§ 7, 8. Op. ed. Bened. col, 
1229, 30. 

H 2 


derived through Tradition from the oral teaching of the Apostles, 
he very pointedly intimates, that it would have been better to 
have made no change at all in the Creed commonly received, and 
the praises the Emperor for looking to Scripture alone for the faith. 

Athanasius. (fl. a. 326.) 

From the Council of Nice we proceed to the writings of Atha- 
nasius, who is so confidently claimed by the Tractators as main- 
taining their views, that an appeal by one of their opponents to 
some passages in his writings, as testifying against them, was 
thought worth only a contemptuous sneer. 1 Whether it was 
wise, or becoming, or suitable to their own proficiency in Patris- 
tical learning to assume such a tone, I leave the reader to judge. 
Certainly it would be most easy to retort, especially upon one 
who has so blundered in the signification of a phrase of common 
occurrence, as to have quoted a passage of Athanasius in a sense 
directly opposed to its obvious meaning ; 2 but I shall do no 
more than bespeak from the reader an impartial consideration 
of the passages I am about to quote. 

After explaining the doctrine relative to the Second Person 
in the sacred Trinity, Athanasius remarks, — " But these things, 
" the whole inspired Scripture teaches more clearly and fully ; 
" in reliance upon whose testimony, indeed, we also write these 
" things to you ; and you, if you read those Scriptures, may be 
" certified of the truth of what I have said." 3 

"Words more clearly overthrowing the whole system of our 
opponents, could hardly be found. 

Again, he says of the Arians, " If, therefore, they deny that 
" which is in Scripture, they immediately deprive themselves of 
" any right to the name of Christians, and may properly be 
" called by all Atheists, and enemies of Christ ; for this name 

1 See Review of Dr. Shuttleworth on Tradition, in the British Critic for 
April, 1839. 

2 See vol. i. pp. 72—74. 

3 TavTa 8e nal iraffa. deSTrveuaros ypa<p)] (pavepdrepov Kal Kara, /xel^ov K-npvTTft, 
o</>' Sip Stj Kal y)fjiils ndap'p-qKOTis ravrd aoi ypacpo/xev, Kal crv Tavrats ivTvyxo."uv, 
tiuvqffr) twv \eyon(vci>v «x € "' T V fio'Ttv. Athanasii Orat. contr. Gent. § 45. 
Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. p. 43. 


" they have thus given to themselves. But, if they confess with 
" us that the words of Scripture are inspired, let them dare 
" openly to say what they secretly think, that God was once 
" without reason and without wisdom/' 1 

Is not Scripture plainly referred to here, as the Rule of faith 
and Judge of controversies in the matter in question ? 

And so, a little further on, (as, indeed, continually through- 
out his writings,) the Arians are blamed for " not attending to 
the Scriptures." 2 And, of his own doctrine, he continually tells 
us, that he learned it from the Scriptures. 3 

Nay, in the same treatise, he says (as already quoted), " Of 
" these things we are certified, not from any external source, but 
"from the Scriptures. ' n 

And so completely was Scripture his sole Rule of faith, that 
even the use of a word not in Scripture, to define the faith, was 
thought by him, under ordinary circumstances, objectionable. 
" Perhaps," says Athanasius in a passage already quoted with 
reference to the Council of Nice, but which we must repeat here 
as showing his own views, " they will say, It behoves us also, 
" with respect to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to speak 
"from the Scriptures those things which are written respecting 
" him, and not to introduce phrases not to be found in the Scrip- 
" tures. It does, indeed, behove us so to do, I should 
" myself also say ', for the representations of the truth derived 
" from the Scriptures, are much more exact than those derived from 
" any other source ; but the perversencss, and artful, and versatile 
" impiety of the Eusebians, compelled the bishops, as I before 
** said, to set forth words more plainly subversive of their im- 
" piety ; and those words which were written by the Council, 
" have been proved to have a right sense." 5 Hence, in another 

1 E( fiev ovv apvovvrai to. yeypafi/xtva, avT6dev aWSrpioi kcu tov bv6fxarro% 
oi/Tes, oliceius tu> KaKolvro Kal itapa Travraiv &6eoi Kal xP lo ~ TO f xa X or ovtu yap 
kavrobs eiruuonaffav Kal avroi. Et 5e ffuvo/jioAoyodffiv ti/juv ilvai 6i6irv(vcrra to. 
ttjj ypa<prjs {>TinaTa, To\/j.ri(ra.T(ii<Tav (pavepws tiireiv a KfKpvfj./JLtva)s (ppovovcriv on 
&\oyos Kal &o-o<pos fy 6 0e6s irore. k. t. A.. Id. De decret. Nic. Syn. § 15. i. 221 . 

2 Tuf ypa<pS>v avfiKooi. Id. De decret. Nic. Syn. § 29. i. 235. 

3 Me/xa8r)Kafj.(v (k twv Oeicov ypacpuv. Id. De decret. Nic. Syn. § 15. i. 220. 
See also § 21. p. 227. Et alibi passim. 

* Id. i. § 17. See p. 91 above. 

5 Id. De decret. Nic. Syn. § 32. i. 237. See p. 91 above. Similar . remarks 
occur, ib. § 28. i. 234. 


passage, also quoted above, he says, — " To all created beings, 
" and especially to us men, it is impossible to speak worthily 
" of things which are beyond our power of expression ; and 
" it is still more audacious for those who cannot express 
" them to excogitate new words beyond those of the Scriptures." l 

Hence, he says to the Arians, — " Let them tell us from what 
" Scriptures they have learnt, or from which of the sacred 
" writers they have heard, the phrases which they have heaped 
" together for themselves, — namely, ' From things not existing •/ 
" and, ' He was not before he was begotten/ " &c. 2 

And when the Nicene Fathers entered upon their delibera- 
tions, their great desire and intention was, he tells us, to deter- 
mine the controversy by " words that were confessedly words of 
Scripture," z and that they adopted the word " consubstantial " 
on the consideration that it was merely equivalent to the expres- 
sions used in several passages of Scripture, which they collected 
together, in order to obtain the sense of Scripture on the doc- 
trine in question. i 

And therefore he says further to the Arians, — " But if they 
" again complain, that these words are not in Scripture, let them 
" be at once rejected as empty talkers, and of unsound mind. 
" And for this they may blame themselves ; inasmuch as they 
" themselves first gave cause for the use of such phrases, when 
" they began to fight against God, by words not in Scripture- 
" But, nevertheless, let any one who wishes to know the truth, 
" understand, that, although the phrases do not literally exist 
" in the Scriptures, yet, as has before been said, they have 
" the meaning that is derived from the Scriptures ; and when 
" pronounced, convey this meaning to those whose ears are 
" sound for piety." 5 

1 Id. Ep. 1. ad Serap. § 17. i. 666. See vol. ii. pp. 189, 190 above. 

2 "EiiroLTuiaav f)/xiv 4k Troiaii/ avrol ypa<pa>v na66fTfs, f) irapa rivos rwv aylwv 
UKovaavTis, <rvfjure<popr)Ka<rtv kavrois prmaria, to, «£ ovk ovtuv, Kal, ovk ?\v irplv 
yeyv-qeij, «. t. k. Id. De decret. Nic. Syn. § 18. i. 223. 

3 Id. Ad Afros Epise. Epist. § 5. i-. 895. See p. 71 above. 
* Id. ib. § 6. i. 896. See p. 72 above. 

Ei 5e on Kal fxr] eyypacpol eiVi TraKtv yoyyv£ovo~tv, avT6Qev fiiv avrol 4k0o\- 
\to-Qooo-av uis Kevo\oyovvres Kal ihv vovv ov% vyialvovrss' tavTovs tie Kal 4v tovtois 
aniao-Qucrav, 3ti -rrpwToi irapaaxAvres r)]V Toiavrt)v irp6(pacriv, e| aypa<pcnv 6(0/j.a- 
X uv tfp£avTo. TivoxTKeTw 8e 8/iois, e? rls 4o~ti <pi\o/j.a8r]S, on *( Kal fi)) ovtojs 4u 
tan ypa<pah timv at \4%tis, d\\a, Ka8dnsp tlpr/rat npSrtpov, r^f 4k r£>v ypa- 


How, in the face of these passages, the Tractators can have 
made such statements as they have respecting the way in which 
Athanasius and the Nicene Council arrived at the doctrine of 
the consuhstantiality of the Son, arid adopted the phrase " con- 
substantial/' is inconceivable. 

And before I pass on, I would direct the attention of the 
reader to the direct mis-translation of the Benedictines of a 
passage just quoted, where the word I have translated " the 
sacred writers" (t&v ayiwv), meaning " the writers of Scripture," 
is interpreted "the Fathers" (Patribus). To any one at all ac- 
quainted with the phraseology of the Fathers, I need not add a 
word to show that this is a mis-translation ; but, in a note 
below, I have given some references which will enable any one 
to judge. 1 

Let us proceed, however, to other passages in the writings of 
Athanasius, illustrative of this question. 

In his first Oration against the Arians, he says, — " If they 
" should be suspected of such sentiments, they shall be over- 
" whelmed by proofs from the Scriptures," — not by the inter- 
pretation given to Scripture by Tradition, but by " proofs from 
the Scriptures. " 3 

Again : " This," he says, " we must especially inquire, Whether 
" he is Son ; and respecting this, must before all things search 
"the Scriptures." 3 

<pa>v Bidvoiav ex ovo ~h Ka ^ tolvttjv eK<pccvovfji€vai <T7]f±ali>ov<ri rots %x ovaiv € ' s eucre- 
0etav t))v aKoriv &\6k\t)pov. Id. De decret. Nic Syn. § 21. i. 226, 7. 

1 Thus, in a passage in the same treatise, but just preceding that quoted 
above, it is said, with reference to the writers of Scripture, Out&j yap rj^ds 
ol dyioi fiovX6ixevoi vouv, roiavra /cat Ttapab'eLyixaTa 5e5a'/cacn. De decret. 
Kic. Syn. § 12. i. 219. The phrase occurs also in the same sense in 
his treatise, De sent. Dionys. § 2. i. 244. And frequently in his Orations 
against the Arians, as Orat. i. § 63. i. 467. Orat. 2. § 5. i. 473. ib. § 6. i. 474. 
ib. § 63. i. 531. And elsewhere passim. And so the phrase is used continually 
by the other Fathers. As, for instance, by Geegoby NxBSrar, Contra Eunom. 
orat. 9. ii. 254. ed. 1615. It is quite true, that the word dylwv may some- 
times be found connected with iraripuiv, in reference to the Nicene, or other 
Fathers; but the emphatic phrase, ol ayioi, when applied to the writers of the 
Church, belongs peculiarly to the inspired writers. 

1 'EaV re inrovoT)6£icri, /3A7j07J<rojrai 7rapa irdvToiv rots e/c rwv ypa<pwv iKeyx 01 *- 
Id. Orat. i. contr. Arian. § 10. i. 414. 

3 Tovto yap irph irdvruv 5e7 QlfTilv, u vios ecrri, koL irep\ tovtov rds ypa<pas 
■npoTiyovptvois iptwdv. Id. Orat. 2. contr. Arian. § 73. i. 541. 


Again ; " Where did they find, that the counsel or will of God 
" was before his Word ; unless, neglecting the Scriptures, they 

" deceitfully embrace the errors of Valeutinus ? Let 

" them, if they please, defend the notions of Valentinus ; but we, 
" having read the divine oracles, have found it written respecting 
" the Son, that ' he was.' " l 

Again ; " Who delivered these doctrines to them ? Who 
" taught them these doctrines ? No one, certainly, from the 
" Divine Scriptures."" 2 This testimony, though indirect, very 
forcibly show, how completely the Divine Scriptures were con- 
sidered by Athanasius as the only source whence such doctrine 
should be taught. 

Again ; " Vainly, therefore, do they run about pretending 
" that they demand that there should be councils held for the 
" sake of the faith. Fot*, the Divine Scripture is more competent 
" [to determine the faith] than all other things." 3 

Again ; " Either, therefore, reject the Divine Scriptures, or, 
" if you admit them, do not think to speak words of incurable 
,f deceit, other than and beyond those that are written." 4. 

Again ; " If, therefore, ye are disciples of the Gospels, speak 
" not injustice against God, but walk by those things that are 
" written, and have been done. But if you wish to speak other 
" things beyond those that are written, why do you contend 
" against us, who can endure neither to hear or speak anything 
" beyond the things that are written .... What enormous folly 
" is this of yours to speak things that are not written, and to 
" think things contrary to piety?" 5 

1 Al'toJ 5e nov &pa fSov\-qffiv $) 6e\7}ffiv irpoy\yovfji.evi)V evpov tov \6yov tov 
@eov, (I /xt] &pa Tas ypa<pas d<p4vTes, vitoKplvovTcu xal t))v OvahtvTivov Kaxdvoiav ; 

tKe'ivoi fitv oibv Ttt OvaXevrivov faKeinoocrav T]fie7s 5e ifTv^ovTes to?s 

Oelois \6yots, eir\ fxkv tov vtov, to ^v, wpojjav. Id. Orat. iii. contr. Arian. § 60. 
i. 608, 9. 

2 Tis yap aiiTols rrapeScvKe TavTa ; tIs 6 SiSd^as ; ctAA' ovSels etc tuv Oelaiu 
ypacpaiu. Id. Ep. 4. ad Serap. § 5. i. P. 2. p. 700. 

3 Mar^y yovv irepiTpexovTes irpo(paai£oi>Tai Sia iriffTiv r;|ia>/ceVc» ytveadai Tas 
o~vi>6Sovs. *Eo~ti fxkv ydp 'iKavooTtpa irdvTaiv rj Beta ypacprj. Id. De Synod. •§ 6. 
i. P. 2. p. 720. 

4 *H Toivvv dpvr)o-ao~6e ray Oelas ypa<pas, f) Tavras Sfj.o\oyovvTts, /*•$) rrepa 
irapd to. yiypafXfjLtva iirivoetTe AaAeTV f>7)ixaTa dnaTr}s dviaTov. Id. Contr. Apoll. 
lib. i. § 6. i. P. 2. p. 926. 

6 Ei Toivvv fxaQrjTai tare tSiv tvayyeKlwv, jut) AaAeire KaTa. tov Qeov dSt/claW 


And, in the Fragment of his Festal Epistle, after having 
enumerated the books of the Old and New Testament, he adds, 
— " These are the wells of salvation, that he who thirsts may be 
" filled with the oracles contained in these books. In these 
" alone the doctrine (or, school) of true religion is proclaimed, 
" Let no one add to them, nor take away anything from 



" 1 

Lastly, I would recall to the remembrance of the reader a 
passage already quoted in a former page, 2 which, however, occurs 
in a treatise that is classed by the Benedictines among those of 
doubtful authorship, and with which, therefore, he may deal as 
he pleases. 3 

Moreover, Athanasius distinctly recognises the completeness of 
Scripture as the Rule of faith. 

" As you desire," he says, on one occasion to a person to whom 
he was writing, " to hear something on this subject, we will, as 
" far as we are able, give a brief exposition of the Christian 
" faith ; which, indeed, you might have found from the divine 
" oracles ; but, nevertheless, politely hear also from others. 
" For, indeed, the holy and inspired Scriptures are 
" sufficient of themselves to make known the truth."^ 

dwd <TToixe?Te reus yeypafx/xei/OLS Kal yevofxevois. Ei Se eVepa wapa ra yeypafi' 
fxeva \a\e7i> fiovAe<r9e, ri irphs rifxas Sta/xax^cOe, toi/s /utjts aKoveiv, fx^Te \eyeii' f 
irapd ra yeypafx/xeva weiOo/xevovs ; .... Ti's vfxwv tj ToaavT-q anovota ttjs a/xeTpias, 
\a\elv to. ixT] yeypa/x/xeva, Kal (ppovilv aWoTpia rrjs eiVejSet'as ; Id. Contr. ApolL 
lib. i. §§ 8, 9. i. P. 2. pp. 928, 9. 

1 ToCto irriyal rod o~a>TT)plov, Hiffn rhv Zitywvra. twv eV tovtois 4fx<pope?o-0ai 
\oyiaiv eV tovtois fxovots Th ttjs eucre/Sei'as SiSacr/caA.eibi' €uayye\i£eTai. MTjSels 
tovtois eViySaAAfTO), fxrjSe tovtwv d<patpeio-9w ti. Id. Fragm. ex Epist. Fest. 
i. P. 2. p. 962. 

2 See vol. i. pp. 68, 69. 

3 The passage in the original is as follows : — 'E?re2 toIvvv trap 1 vfuv 
Tivas TapaTTio-Qai Kal Qi\Tfiv ypd.fXfxa.Ta Trap" r)fxu>v nepl ttjs koivtjs Kal e| airo- 
o-toXwv €(<rax6ei(T77S Tnirreais, ypd<pofxev, '6ti ttJv fiev aKplfietav avTrjs eiri^TjTsiV 
oKiyouv etrrl, t?V 8e ttio-tiv /caT«xe»', airdvTow tuiv irphs Thv Qehv tinrtiBwv, ot Kal 
fxiyiOTOv eiraivov diro<p4povTai ttjs iiriOvfxias. 'O fxtv yap Qr)Twv to. irwep eavrhv, 
iiriKivb'wos' 6 8e to?s irapooodelfftv ifxfxtvuiv, aKivovvos. Xlapaivovfiiv Se vpui>, oirep 
Kal eavTo7s irapaivovfxev, t)]V irapafioduffav irlo~Tiv (pvKaTTiiv, €KTp(irea6ai §€ Tas 
/3e$TjA.ous Kaivo(pwvias, Kal tovto 7ra<n iraptyyvav (pof3f?o'dai t-)]v trepl tov TT]\iKai>Tov 
fxvcrTfjplov ^i)T7]ffiv' bfxoXoyilv 5e, 8ti trecpavtpaiTai ®e&s if ffapKl, Kara Tkv dno- 
(TTo\iKr)v TTapaSotric. Id. De incarn. Verbi Dei. § 2. torn. ii. p. 34. 

* YloOovvTt 5« crot '6fxais to. wepl TavTrjs aKovffai, (ptpe, Si fxaKapic, a?s av oiol T€ 


Again ; in the passage which has been so misquoted by Mr. 
Xesvinan, he bears a similar testimony in the very words which 
have been cited against us. " I have written these things, 
" beloved ; although, indeed, there was no need to write any- 
" thing more, for the Evangelical Tradition is sufficient of itself; 
" but because you inquired respecting our faith, and on account 
" of those who love to make sport with the faith by their inven- 
" tions, and do not consider, that he who speaks from his own 
" private fancies, speaks a lie. For it is not possible for the 
" wit of man to declare fully the beauty or glory of the body of 
" Christ. But it is possible for us both to confess the things that 
" have been done, according as they are recorded in Scripture, and 
" to worship the true God." 1 

And, as it respects its full delivery of particular doctrines, we 
have clear testimonies in Athanasius affirmative of this, in both 
the doctrines which his writings were more particularly intended 
to support, namely, the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the 
Son with the Father (as we have seen in the passages but just 
now quoted), and that of the divinity of the Holy Spirit ; respect- 
ing which he says, " Let not any one any longer ask such 
a questions, but learn only what is in the Scriptures ; for the 
" illustrations we have of this matter in them, are sufficient ofthem- 
" selves, and need no addition.' 3 2 

From these passages, then, I suppose we may conclude, that, 
in Athanasius's view, Scripture was the sole and entire Rule of 
faith ; Tradition forming no part of it, either as adding doctrines 
to those there revealed, or as interpretative of the revelation 
there made. 

2)fi.ey, 6\'iya tt)s koto XpiffTOf iriffTecos eK6u\ue6a, hwafxeVw fiev <roi Kal awb rail 
Qeiwv Koyiwv Tainriv evpelv, <pi\0KaAu>s oe cfjuois Kal Trap' erepwv o.kovovti. 'Avrdp- 
Keis fief yap elfftv al dyiai Kal 6e6irvev<Troi ypacpal irpbs tt\v rr)s a\r]6eias array- 
ye\Lav. Id. Orat. contr. Gent. § 1. i. 1. 

1 ToCto eypatya, ayarniTe- k&v oti fxaKiffra ovSev irXeov eSel ypd<peif airrdpKT]s 
yap r) eiiayyeXiKr} irapaSoffis' aAA 1 eireiSrj i)pu>TT]ffas irepl tt)s ev i)fjuv iriareus, Kal 
eveKa ye tw epe(rxe\e7v &ov\o/j.evui' rots etpevpeaecri, Kal ov \oyi£oixev<i>v, brt 
eK tuv ISiaiv \a\itiy, rb \pev5os AaAe?. Otirs yap koAAos, odre $6£av aw/xaros 
XpicrTov i(piKrbv Siavoia avdpwirov e^ei-nelv. 'AAAd ye Kal to yev6/j.eva, ws yeypairrai, 
6fxo\oyetv, Kal rbv uvra Qebv irpoaKwelv, k. t. A. Id. Contr. Apoll. lib. i. § ult. 
P. -l. pp.939, 40. 

8 Id. Ep. i. ad Serap. § 19. i. P. 2. p. 667. See vol. ii. 189, 190 above. 


But, as some passages are adduced both by the Romanists 
and the Tractators, as if they affirmed their views, we will con- 
sider them before we proceed further. Some of these passages 
we have formerly noticed ; and for them, therefore, refer the 
reader to what has been already said respecting them. 1 Others 
are quoted, through a mistaken view of the meaning of the 
phrases used ; and the rest imply no more than what we will- 
ingly allow, namely, that the Fathers, like ourselves, referred to 
the testimony of those who preceded them, in confirmation of 
the truth of their doctrines. 

Thus, Mr. Keble quotes, as supporting his view of Tradition, 
the passage in the Second Epistle to Serapion, in which Atha- 
nasius, laying down what he calls the form or outline (^apa/cn/p) 
of the faith in Christ, says, " This form comes from the Apostles, 
through the Fathers." 2 But, in the first place, the Fathers here 
mentioned are, as will be seen by a reference to the context, the 
Nicene Fathers, 3 a sense in which the word is continually used by 
Athanasius, 4 not "the Fathers/' in Mr. Keble's sense of the phrase, 
as indicating the Catholic Consent of all from the beginning. 
This is a mistake we have already had occasion to point out in ano- 
ther passage, quoted both by Mr. Newman and Mr. Keble, where 
the context alike shows the error. 5 Moreover, the passage only 
states a fact which we are far from questioning, and far from 
reckoning a poor argument for that which is so confirmed, namely, 
that the doctrine in question was taught by many bishops of the 
Primitive Church. But Athanasius neither here nor anywhere 
else, makes their testimony part of the Rule of faith. And as 
to Mr. Keble's notion that this passage shows us, that Atha- 
nasius held, that, for " the form of the faith in Christ," we must 
go to the Fathers, as if it was not as fully and clearly delivered 
in the Scriptures, it is altogether overthrown by a passage in a 

1 See vol. i. pp. 65 et seq. ; and pp. 88 — 91 of this volume. 

2 'O fJ.iv x a P aKT Vp ovros (K tSjv o.tto(Tt6Koiv Sia twv TTartpow. Id. Ep. 2. acl 
Serap. § 8. i. P. 2. p. 688. See Keble's Serm. App. pp. 121, 5. 

3 Ovrco yap Ka\ ol Trarepts vor)<ravres, wfxo\6yy]crav 4v rfj Kara. Ni/ccucw <nW5&>j 
k. t. A. Id. ib. § 5. i. P. 2. p. 686. 

* See De Synod. § 6. i. P. 2. p. 720. Ep. ad Jovian. §§ 1, 2. passim, i. P. 2. p. 780i 
781. De inearn. Dom. contr. Apoll. lib. i. §§ 1, 2. i. P. 2. p. 922. 
6 See vol. i. pp. 69—71. 


fragment of a Letter to the Monks, in which Athanasius, 
speaking on the very same point, says, — " I might also have 
" considerably extended my letter, by subjoining the form of 
" such doctrines from the Divine Scriptures." l 

The appeal which Athanasius makes in the above, and other 
passages, is not to the " Catholic Consent" of all the Fathers, 
as a " divine informant," and part of the Rule of faith, but to 
the testimony of certain Fathers, whose suffrage he justly con- 
siders as a confirmatory argument in favor of his doctrine. 

And his words have the same meaning in several other pas- 
sages, which are often quoted against our views ; as the context 
will at once show. 

Again ; after having quoted four of the preceding Fathers in 
defence of the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son with 
the Father, he says, — "Lo, we give you proof that this doctrine 
" has passed down from Fathers to Fathers ; but you, ye new 
" Jews and disciples of Caiaphas, what Fathers have you to 
" show as supporters of your phrases ? You could name none 
" of the prudent and wise. For all abhor you, except the devil 
" only." 2 Now, certainly, this language is sufficiently violent, 
especially when w r e recollect that one of the four, to whom he 
appealed, was Origen, who was subsequently condemned by the 
majority of the Church for opposing the doctrine which Atha- 
nasius here quotes him as maintaining ; and that Jerome 
admits, that many of the earlier writers had spoken erroneously 
on the point ; but, nevertheless, all that it amounts to is, that 
certain of the Fathers had maintained the doctrine, and that 
Athanasius did not believe, that Alius could produce any such 
authority for his views; and consequently that besides the 
Scripture-proof, he had a strong argument from Antiquity in 
favor of the doctrine. But what then ? We are far from deny- 

1 " Possibile quldem erat ruihi etiam per multa extendere epistolam, appo- 
neiiti ex Scripturis divinis formam cjusmodi doctrina?," &c. Id. Ep. ad Moil. i. 
P. 2. p. 967. 

; 'iSov Tifxets ficv eK nareptov els irarfpas 5ia/3t /S^KeVai ttjv roiavrt\v Stdvoiav diro- 
SeiKvvo/xfv vfiels 5e, S> v4oi lovScuoi ko.1 tov Kaia<pa. /xadr^Tal, rlvas &pa tSiv prifxa- 
toiv vfiuv exere 8e?£ai irarepas ; a\A' ovSeva rwv (ppovifiaiv Kal <ro<pwv ay eiWoiTe. 
■navrts yap v/xas a.iroaTp(<povrai, ttAtjv ^i6vov tov Sia$6\ov. Id. De decret. Nio. 
Syn. § 27. i. 233. 


iug the successional preaching of the orthodox doctrine in the 
Church, or that the indications of that delivery of it contained in 
the writings of the Fathers, are an important confirmation of the 
true faith. Nay, we think that in the case of any fundamental 
doctrine, it would be absurd to suppose, that all the writers of 
the Primitive Church should have erred; and therefore that, 
considering the number of writings that remain to us of the 
first four or five centuries, it is but reasonable to require, that 
any doctrine, put forth as fundamental, should have some 
support in those writings. And therefore we quite agree with 
Athanasius in his remark respecting the Arians, — " If they 
" confess, that they have now first heard these things, let them 
" not deny, that this heresy is foreign [to the Church], and 
" not from Fathers. But that which is not from Fathers, but 
" invented now, what else can it be, but that of which the 
" blessed Paul foretold, ' In the last times some shall depart 
" from the sound faith,' &C." 1 The truth of this, few, I suppose, 
will deny. 

But where, I ask, is it intimated in these, or any other pas- 
sages of Athanasius, that the testimony of a few Fathers is to 
be taken as an adequate proof and representation of Catholic 
Consent for several centuries, infallibly conveying to us the oral 
teaching of the Apostles; and giving us a revelation of divine 
truth, more full and clear than what we have in Scripture ; and 
thus forming part of the Rule of faith ? No ; on the contrary, 
the writings of Athanasius clearly and abundantly show, (as we 
have seen,) that he considered Scripture the sole and entire Rule 
of faith ; yes, and the source from which all were to certify 
themselves of the faith, for he says, — " The true and pious faith 
" in the Lord has stood forth evident to all, being known and 
" read out of the divine Scriptures." 2 

In fact, of Tradition, in the sense in which the Romanists 
and the Tractators use the term, namely, as something coming 

1 Ei 8e ical avTol wpuTov vvv 6fj.o\oyovcrtv aKrjKoevai t« Toiavra, y.i\ apveMrOwcrcw 
aWorpiav Kal fxr) etc irarepoij/ (ivai ttjv aXptaiv TavTijv. Tb 5e /utj e'/c TraTtpaiv, 
aAAo vvv £<pcvptdiv, ri h.v €177 trepov f) nepl ou irpoeipT)K€v d /xaKapios TlavKos' 
iv ixTTtpois Kaipols anocrrricrovTai Ttves rfjs vyiouvovoris iriarews, k. t. A. Id, 
Orat. 1. contr. Arian. § 8. i. 412. 

2 Ld. Ep. ad Jovian. § 1. i. P. 2. p. 780. See p. 89 above. 


to us from the oral teaching of the Apostles, above and beyond 
Scripture, through a successional delivery by all the Fathers, we 
meet with not one syllable in the writings of Athanasius. 

Cyril of Jerusalem, (fl. a. 350.) 

I proceed to Cyril of Jerusalem, and offer to the reader 
the following extracts from his Catechetical Lectures to those 
about to be baptized. 

First, as it respects Scripture being the sole authoritative 
Rule of faith. 

After giving a brief account of the principal articles of the 
Christian faith, he says, — " Retain this seal ever in thy mind, 
" the principal points of which have now been briefly enu- 
" merated. But if the Lord permit, they shall be discussed, as 
" far as I am able, with Scripture-proof. Tor, as it respects 
" the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not even the least 
"point ought to be delivered without the divine Scriptures, 
" nothing asserted nakedly without proof, by probable reason- 
" ing and oratorical statements. Nay, you must not believe 


To see the full force of this passage, we must recollect, that 
it is addressed to the young, to those about to be baptized; 
and to them it is said hy Cyril, that they were not to believe 
him, except so far as they should find him to be borne out by 
the declarations of Scripture; so far is he from asserting, that 
the interpretation of Scripture which he gave, was binding 
upon the conscience, and the proper object of faith. And, 
moreover, this is said with reference to the Creed, which is em- 

1 1avT7)v tx € r h v cr<ppayi5a iv rfj Siavoiq ffov iravrore, {jris vw fj.\v Kara ava- 
K«pa\aioxnv axpoBiySss ttprircu. Ei 5e napaax 01 ° Kvpios, fiera tt}s tu>v ypa(pwv 
airoSei^eoos Kara Siiva/xiv prjOrjaeTai. Ae< yap Trepl rS>v 0€ia>v Ka\ ayiwv rrjs iriartcos 
fivffTripicoi', jitrjSe rb rvybv &vev tSiv ddwv trapaSiSoaBai ypa<pu>v, /U7)Se cnrXws triQa- 
v6rr)ri kcl\ \6ytav xaracTKivcus irapacpepeaBai. MtjSe i/xol t<£ raura croi Xeyovri 
air\<us TTurTfiHTys, eav ttjv a.w68ei£iv rwv KaTayy(KKofj.4vci>v kirb twv deloov fx)) Aa#?;s 
ypa<p£y. Cyrill. Hieeosol. Catech. 4. § 12. Op. ed. Milles. Oxon. 1703. p. 56. 


phatically put forward by the Tractators as part of the Rule of 
faith, and a divine revelation, quite independent of Scripture. 

Again, he says, — " There is need truly of spiritual grace, 
" that we may discourse of the Holy Spirit. Not that we may 
" speak worthily of the subject, for that is impossible; but that, 
" speaking the things which we learn from the Divine Scrip- 
" tures, we may proceed without danger." x 

He knew nothing of an infallible interpretation of Scrip- 
ture, derived from the oral teaching of the Apostles, and handed 
down by " Tradition." 

Further; as to the perfection of Scripture. He says, — 
" What else is there that knows the deep things of God, but 
" only the Holy Spirit that uttered the Divine Scriptures ? 
" But neither hath the Holy Spirit himself spoken in the 
" Scriptures concerning the generation of the Son from the 
" Father. Why, therefore, do you curiously inquire after that 
" which the Holy Spirit hath not written in the Scriptures ? 
" Do you, who know not what is written, curiously inquire 
" after that which is not written ? There are many subjects 
" for inquiry in the Divine Scriptures, [and] we do not fully 
" comprehend that which is written ; why do we curiously 
" inquire after what is not written?"" 

Again ; " Therefore let those things be spoken by us con- 
" cerning the Holy Spirit which are written. And if anything 
" is not written, let us not curiously inquire after it. The Holy 
" Spirit himself hath uttered the Scriptures, and hath himself 
" spoken concerning himself as much as he pleased, and as much as 
" we are capable of receiving. Therefore let those things be 
" spoken which he has uttered ; for what he hath not spoken, we 
u dare not speak." 3 

1 Xlvevfj.ariKrjS a\r]8ws XP e ' a T ') s X°-P lTOS i " va lre P^ Tlvevfj.aros ayiov Sta\ex^oi,uev' 
oi>x tva /cot* a^iav eXird3fj.ev aSvvarov ydp % d\A' 'iva ra dirb rwv Belwv ypacbciv 
elirSvres clkivSvvcos Sii\8oofj.ev. Id. Cat. 16. § 1. p. 223. 

2 Tl iariv 'irepov yivwo~Kov ra ftddri rov Qeov, el fj,$i fi6vov rb Tlvev/xa ro ayiov 
rb Xa\r\crav ras Belas ypatpds' aAA' oi>5' avrb rb Xlvevfia rb dywv -rrepl ttjs e'/c 
Tlarpbs rov Tlov yevvfiaews iv rats ypa<pals i\d\r)o , ev. Ti rolvvv iroKvnpayfxovels, 
a fJ.r}5e rb Tlvev/xa rb ayiov eypa\pev iv rats ypa<pais ; 6 ra yey pa a far) yivw- 
ffKwv, ra firj yey iroXvirpayfJovels ; TloAKa Qt)rr\fxara iariv iv rals Oeiais 
ypa<pa1s, rb ov KaraKa/xfidvofiev, ri rb firj iroKvwpay- 
fj.ovovfj.ev ; Id. Cat. 11. § 4. pp. 140, 1. 

3 AeyeaOb) rolvvv v<p' yfiuv irepl ayiov tlvtvixaros ra yeypafifieva. Ei 8< ti ix)\ 


Again ; " It is sufficient for us to know these things. But 
" as to nature or hypostasis, do not curiously search into it. 
" For, if it was written, we would declare it. It is not written, 
" let us not dare to do so. It is sufficient for our salvation, to 
" know that there is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." 1 

Again ; " Not using, even to-day, human imaginations, for 
" that would be unprofitable ; but only putting you in mind 
" of those things which we learn from the Divine Scriptures ; for 
" that is the safest ; according to the blessed Apostle, who 
" says, ' which things we speak, not in the words which man's 
" wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, com- 
" paring spiritual things with spiritual.' " 3 

But it may be said, (for it has been said by those who would 
fain make us believe that every passage in the Fathers, in which 
the word tradition (-napabocns) is mentioned with favor, is a 
support to the views we are opposing,) that Cyril says, in 
another place, " Be careful, therefore, brethren, and hold fast the 
" traditions which ye now receive. . . . God will require of you 
" an account of the deposit committed to your keeping." 3 True; 
and what does he mean by these " traditions" ? Let his own 
words in the previous context explain, — " Hold fast the faith 
" [or, Creed] both in knowledge and profession, and keep it ; 
" that only, I mean, which is now delivered (tradited) to thee by 
" the Church, and which is established from the whole Scrip- 
" ture;" 4 and of this Creed he adds, " The articles of the Creed 

yeypairrat, jur; Tro\vnpayfiovu>ix£v. Ai/rb t2> Tlvev/xci, rb ayiov t\dXr](re ras ypacpds' 
avrb noil irepl avrov elprjKev '6<ra eySouAero, Kal '6aa ixwpovixw \Gy4a6a> ovv a 
eipriKtv 'iaa yap ovk efprjKei', 7)/j.e7s ov ToXfiSijx^v. Id. Cat. 16. § 1. p. 221. 

* Kal atirapKes Tjfuu (ISivai ravra- <pv<rtv Si, 3) vir6o-Tacnv fjA) iro\vn-pay/x6y€r 
ei yap i)i> yeypa/u./'ov, £\eyo/j.ev ov ytypaTrrat, fi)) roA/x^o-wfiey a&rapKes i^fxlv 
elSevai trpbs <ra>Tr)piav, 'in iarl irarrip, Kal vlbs, Kal ayiov JJvev/xa. Id. Cat. 16. 
§ 12. pp. 236, 7. 

2 Ovk avQpuiirivois Kal aiffiipov Kexpv^i'ot crcHp'iffixaffiv do-vfx<popov yap- aWa. to 
4k tS>v diicev ypa<piov jjl6vov inro/ji.i/xvriffKoyres m a<T<pa\i(rraTov yap, Kara rbv fxaKa- 
ptov 'Att6(Tto\ov, os Kai (prjo-iv a Kal AaAovfjLev, ovk if 8ib~aKTo7s dy6pcoTr(vr]s o~o<plas 
\6yois, aAA' iv StSaKrols Tlvtvfj.aTos, ■m/tvfji.aTiKo'is iri/fv/xariKa ffvyKpivovrts. Id. 
Cat. 17. § 1. p. 241. 

3 BAeVere olv, a.Sf\<pol, Kal Kparelre rets TrapaS6o-(is, as vvv irapaKafi^avtre 
.... ®ebs 5e trap' vp.S>v airairel rrjs irapaKaTaQi\Kr)s rovs \6yovs. Id. Cat. 5. 
§ 8. p. 76. 

Tlio-Tiv 8e iv fi.a6-f]o~ei Kal iirayyeXia. KTrjo-at, Kal T^pyjffov, fx.6vr)u rijv virb t»/s 


" were not, as it appears, composed by men ; but the most suit- 
" able passages collected together out of the whole Scripture, 
" make up one form of instruction in the faith. And as a grain 
" of mustard seed contains, in a small grain, many branches, 
" thus, also, the Creed itself embraces, in a few words, the whole 
" knowledge of religion revealed to us in the Old and New Testa* 
" ment. Be careful, therefore, and hold fast the traditions, 
" kc." 1 These traditions, therefore, were the articles of the 
Creed; which articles were expressed in language carefully 
taken from Scripture ; the Creed being a collection of suitable 
passages selected from the whole Scripture, to give a brief and 
comprehensive view of the principal points of the Christian 
faith. The word " traditions," therefore, i3 here evidently 
merely equivalent to " instructions ;" or at least has not the 
meaning in which the Tractators use the word " traditions." 

The translation and comment given by Mr. Newman to the 
above passage, are worthy of notice. He translates it thus ; 
"Learn and hold fast thy faith in what is taught and promised ; 
" that faith which alone is now delivered to thee by traditions 
" of the Church, and established from Scripture."- And he 
epiotes it as showing, that Cyril " distinguishes between Tradi- 
tion as teaching, and Scripture as proving, verifying doctrine." 

Upon the various errors in the translation of these few lines* 
I say nothing ; but to its bad faith, in the introduction of the 
phrase, " traditions of the Church," I cannot but call the atten- 
tion of the reader. The passage is merely a request by Cyril to 
his hearers, to attend to that which the Church, through him, 
was delivering to them as the Christian faith. And there is not 
one word about " Tradition teaching." And what possible ad- 
vantage could Mr. Newman's cause gain by it, if there was ; 
when Cyril himself cautions his hearers not to believe one word 

iKKKrjaias vvv'i aoi irapaJ5i5oixivT\v, tt\v Ik irdcrrjs ypCKpTJs bxvpttip-tvriv. Id. Cat. 5. 

§ 7. p. 76 

1 Ov yap, iis «5ofep, avOp-Jrtrots (rvvertOT) to rf;y iri'erreais, a\\' At wuoTjy ypa<pr\s 
rot Kaipiwrara (Tv\Ksx®* VTa i A*' a " o.fairXrjpo'i ttjj' ttjj TricTews SiSacKaAitw. KaJ 
Xivirtp rp6nov 6 tov triedVeais <rir6pos iv fiiKpy k6kk<i> iroWovs wepifx«i tovs KAaSovs, 
o'istw Kal 7) iriiTTis airTT) iv 6\iyois ^jtaffi Traaav tjjv I* T T? ""aAaia Kal Kcuvij Tfj* 
tvtrtfifias yvuxriv iyKftcSKirHTTai. BA.«VeT€ oZv, a^t\ipol, k. t. ,\. ut ffl I 

'■■ §§7, 8. i». :>;. 
" Ni 15, 6. 



he was about to say, but as they should see it to be proved by 
Scripture ? The sole question is, whether there is any authori- 
tative teaching, forming part of the Rule of faith, but Scripture ; 
and Cyril here expressly affirms the negative. That Patristical 
Tradition, or the instruction of the Fathers, teaches, and, so far 
as it proceeds from orthodox Fathers, teaches the true faith, and 
that the ministers of the Church teach the faith, and the Church 
through them, is all perfectly true; and, we may add, that 
they teach it from Scripture, and refer their hearers to Scrip- 
ture, as Cyril does here, to test their instructions, and see that 
they teach the true faith, is equally true. But what then ? 
Does that avail Mr. Newman's cause? No; the only thing 
that would serve his cause, would be a statement that the oral 
teaching of the Apostles had been perpetuated, by a succes- 
sional delivery, from one to another in the Church, and is still 
to us the authoritative interpreter of Scripture, teaching us its 
meaning with sovereign authority, and forming part of the Rule 
of faith, under the name of " Tradition •" in which sense, chiefly, 
the word "Tradition" has been used by the moderns, and is 
exclusively applied by the Tractators. And to make the 
Fathers appear to intimate this, Mr. Newman translates the 
words " delivered to thee by the Church," thus — " delivered to 
thee by traditions of the Church ;" thereby leading into error 
both himself and others. For Cyril himself tells us, that the 
articles delivered, were gathered from the Scriptures. They were 
not, therefore, traditions in that technical sense of the word in 
which the Tractators use it. And, as it often happens in such 
cases, Mr. Newman's cause would gain nothing by his mis- 
transl ation, when it came to be compared with the context ; for, 
if it had been correct, the context would only have testified the 
more strongly in condemnation of his views of the authority of 
" Tradition." 

Hilary of Poictiers. (fl. a. 354.) 

I proceed to the excellent Hilary of Poictiers, whose writings 
deserve more attention than they have received. 

" No one," saith Hilary, "ought to doubt, that, for the 


" knowledge of divine things, we must use divine instructions 
" . . . . Therefore, in opposition to the wicked and impious in- 
" structions that are given respecting God, we follow the autho- 
" ritative testimonies themselves of the divine words." 1 

These words, undeniably spoken with reference to Scripture, 
clearly prove, that Hilary recognised no other divine informant 
but Scripture ; and hence considered Scripture the sole authori- 
tative Rule in matters of faith. 

Again ; " How much do we stand in need of God's grace, 
" that we may entertain correct views, and, from the Prophetical 
" and Evangelical authorities, maintain one and the same doc- 
" trine!" 2 This passage appears to me particularly forcible in 
proof of Scripture being looked to by Hilary as the sole Rule of 
faith ; and that he considered unity of view in its correct inter- 
pretation, to flow, not from " Tradition," but from " God's 
grace," enlightening the mind, and enabling it to receive the 

Again ; " When the discourse shall relate to the things of 
" God, let us grant to God the knowledge of himself, and wait 
" upon his words with pious veneration;" 3 where, by the words 
of God, he evidently means Scripture. 

Again ; " We are compelled, by the follies of heretics and 
" blasphemers, to do that which is not lawful, to climb up to 
" things beyond oar reach, to speak clearly of things that are 
" ineffable, to assume a knowledge of things not revealed. And 
(< when it became us to fulfil the things that are commanded us, 
" with a simple faith, namely, to adore the Father, and venerate 
" with him the Son, and abound in the Holy Spirit, we are 
" obliged to stretch the meanness of our discourse to those things 
" that are unspeakable, and are forced into an act of folly, by 
" the folly of others ; so that those things that ought to have 

1 "Nemini dubium esse oportet, ad divinarum rerum cognitionein divinis 
utenduin esse doctrinis. . . . Sequimur ergo adversus irreligiosas et impias de 
Deo institutiones, ipsas Mas divinorum dietorum auctoritates." Hilarii Pictav- 
De Trin. lib. 4 § 14. Op. ed. Bened. Par. 1693. col. 835. 

2 "Quanta opus est nobis Dei gratia, ut recta sapiamus, ut ex propheticis 
atque evangelicis auctoritatibus unum idemque teneamus." Idem. Tract, in 
Ps. 118. [119 apud nos] Litt. i. § 12. col. 249. 

3 " Cum de rebus Dei erit senno, concedamus cognitionem sui Deo, dictisque 
ejuspia veneratione famulemur." Id. De Trin. lib. 1. § 18. col. 777. 

i 2 


" been only matters of religious contemplation, are now exposed 
(i to the danger of human language [which can but imperfectly 
" express them] . For there have been many who were resolved 
" to understand the plain declarations of the heavenly oracles, 
" in the meaning which their own wishes dictated, not with a 
" simple regard to truth; interpreting them differently from what 
" the force of the words demanded. For heresy is derived from 
" the meaning given to Scripture, not from Scripture .... Their 
" unbelief, therefore, draws us into a position of doubt and dan- 
" ger, rendering it necessary to produce, respecting things so 
" great and recondite, something beyond the heavenly Rule. The 
" Lord had said, that the nations were to be baptized ' in the 
" name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.' 
" The form of the faith is certain ; but as far as the heretics are 
" concerned, the whole sense is uncertain. Nothing, therefore, 
" is to be added to the [divine] precepts, but a limit is to be 
" assigned to human audacity ; that since the malignity that 
" has been roused at the instigation of diabolical deceit eludes 
" the truth of things through the names of nature, we may show 
" the nature and meaning of the names; and the dignity and 
" office of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being set forth, as 
" far as words will enable us so to do, the names may not be 
" defrauded of what belongs to their nature, but at the same 
" time may by the force of the names be restrained within the 
" limits of the signification that belongs to their nature .... 
" But that which is required is vast, that of which we are to make 
" free to speak is incomprehensible, that we should discourse 
" respecting God beyond what God has declared. He has laid 
rt down the names of nature, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. What- 
" ever is inquired beyond this is beyond the power of language 
" to express, beyond what sense can reach, beyond what the 
" mind can conceive ; it is not expressed, it is not reached, it is 
" not understood by us ... . But we, humbly praying for par- 
" don for yielding to this necessity from him who is all these, 
" will venture, will inquire, will speak ; and (which alone we 
" promise in so vast a question) will believe those things which 
" shall be made known to us." 1 

1 " CompeUimur hsereticorum et blasphemantium vitiis illicita agere, ardoa 
scandere, L neflahili a elnqui, inconcessa prseeomere. Et cum sola fide expleri qua' 


la this remarkable passage we see, that Hilary, far from sup- 
posing that he had ao infallible gaide in Patristical Tradition 
or aaythiag else, conveying to him the doctrine of the Trinity 
more fully or clearly than it is revealed in Scripture, trembles 
at the thought of endeavouring to add aaythiag to what Scrip- 
ture says respectiag it. 

Agaia ; speakiug of the true faith as just explaiaed by him, 
he says, " This is the catholic aud apostolic coafessiou derived 
from the Gospels." 1 

Agaia ; he tells us, that "with respect to all thiags, he be- 
lieved only what had been said by God respectiag them;" 3 
adding a little further on, — " Let us understand, that that only 
" ought to be believed respectiag God, for the belief of which 
" coaceraiag himself he himself is both the witaess aud 
" author." 3 Nay, "We must aot," he says, " speak otherwise 

prtecepta sunt, oporteret, adorare videlicet Patrem, et venerari cum eo Filiuui, 
Saucto Spiritu abundare, cogimur sermonis nostri humilitatem ad ea quae in- 
enarrabilia sunt extendere, et in vitium vitio coartamur alieno; ut quae contineri 
religione mentium opportuissent, nunc in periculum humani eloquii proferantur. 
Exstiterunt enim plures qui ccelestiuin verborum siuiplicitatem pro voluntatis 
suae sensu non pro veritatis ipsius absolutione susciperent, aliter interpretantes 
quain dictorum virtus postularet. De intelligentia enim haeresis, non de Scriptura 
est. . . . Horuni igitur infidelitas in anceps nos ac periculum protrahit, ut necesse 
sit de tantis ac tam reconditis rebus aliqukl ultra prrescriptum cceleste proferre. 
Dixerat Dominus baptizandas gentes ' in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.' 
Forma fidei certa est; sed quantum ad hsereticos oinnis sensus incertus est. 
Ergo non prajceptis aliquid addendum est, sed modus est const ituendus audacia: ; 
ut quia malignitas instinctu diabolicae fraudulentiae excitata veritatem reruin per 
naturae nomina eludit, nos naturam nominum proferauius; et cditis, prout in 
verbis babebimus, dignitate atque officio Patris, Filii, Spiritus Sancti, non frus- 
trentur naturae proprietatibus nomina, sed intra naturae significationem nominibus 
coartentur. . . . Immensum est autem quod exigitur, incomprehensibile est quod 
audetur, ut ultra praefinitionem Dei senno de Deo sit. Posuit naturae nomina, 
Patrem, Filium, Spiritual Sanctum. Extra significantiam sermonis est, extra 
sensus intentionem, extra intelligentia? conceptionem, quidquid ultra quaeritur ; 
non enuntiatur, non attingitur, non tenetur .... Sed nos necessitatis bujus ab 
eo, qui ba3c omnia est, veniam deprecantes, audebimus, quaerenius, loquemur ; et, 
qtiod solum in tanta rerum quaestioue promittimus, ea quse erunt siguificata crede- 
mus." Id. ib. lib. ii. §§ 2, 3, 5. col. 788—91. 

1 "Haec de Evangeliis catholica et apostolica confessio est." Id. ib. § 22. 
col. 799. The context sbows the meaning of " de" to be as translated above. 

2 " Mihi. . . . tantum de omnibus Deo, ut sunt ab eo dicta, credenti." Id. ib. 
lib. iii. § 20. col. 818. 

3 " Hoc solum de Deo bene credi intelligamus, ad quod de se credenduin ipse 
Bibi nobiscum et testis et auctor exsistat." Id. ib. § 26. col. 824. 


" respecting God, thau as he himself hath spoken concerning 
■ himself to our apprehension.'' 1 And, — " For the discourses of 
m man concerning the things of God, God's words only are left to 
" us." - 

Again ; he says ; — f ' Either there are other Gospels to be pro- 
" duced to teach us. or if these only have taught us respecting 
" God, why do we not believe these things as we are there 
" taught ? But if our knowledge is taken from these only, why is 
" not our faith derived thence whence our knowledge is derived?"' 

To the Scripture also he directs us to go to confute heretics. 

" Above all things/' he says, M we hasten to confound their 
u madness and ignorance from the Prophetical and Evangelical 
"declarations," 4 " I am of opinion that we must reply to the 
'• perverseness of the heretics and confute all their foolish and 
" deadly instructions by Evangelical and Apostolical testimonies. 
" For they appear to themselves to give a reason for everything 
" which thev assert, inasmuch as they have attached to each of 
" their assertions some testimonies from the divine volumes, 
'•' which, being perverted from their true meaning, please only 
" the ignorant, and give the appearance of truth only from the 
" praviry of the interpreters .... When about to answer each 
11 of their propositions, and expose the unsoundness of their im- 
" pious doctrine by the testimonies of the divine oracles, we ought, 
'• &c ws And having adduced his proofs from Scripture, he 

1 " Loquenduin non aliter de Deo est, quani ut ipse ad intelligentiam nostrani 
de se locutus est." Id. ib. lib. v. § 21. eol. 866. 

- " Xon relictus est bominnni eloquiis de Dei rebus alius praeter quam Dei 
sermo." Id. lib. vii. § 38. eol. 941. 

3 " Aut euim alia sunt Evangelia proferenda quae doceant, aut si de Deo sola ista 
doeuerunt, cur non ita exedinius ut doceniur ? Quod si ex bis tantum sumta 
cognitio est, eur non exinde fides sit unde cognitio?" Ik. ib. lib. vii. § 22. 
eoL 930. 

4 • • Maxinie ergo properamus ex propbetieis at que evangelicis praeeoniis ve- 
saniam eorum ignorantiamque confundere." Ld. De Trie. lib. i. § 17. col. 776. 

5 " Respondendum esse existinio haereticoruin perveisitati, et omnes eorum 
stultas ac mortiferas institutiones evangelicis atque apostolicis testimoniis 
coarguendas. Tidentur enim sibi de singulis quae assermit praestare rationem, 
quia singulis assertionibus suis quaedam ex divinis voluniinibus testinionia subdi- 
derunt, quae corrupto intelligent] a? sensu solis tantum ignorantibus blar.diantur, 
speeiem veritatis secundum pravitatein interpretantium praestatura .... Respon- 
suri singulis eorum r: -. - divinonim dictorum I irreli- 
giosam eorum dectrinam prcdituri, debeirus," ftc. Ix. ib. lib. iv. §§7, 11. col. 

- - 


says, u Hence, wicked heretic, you may be confuted by Apo- 
stolical, by Evangelical, by Prophetical testimonies." 1 

Here, then, we see, that on the very ground on which the 
TVactators plead for the necessity of " Tradition/' and declare 
that heretics can be confuted only by "Tradition," namely, that 
heretics plead Scripture in their favor, on that very same ground 
Hilary tells us, that we must go to Scripture to confute them. 
He knew nothing, then, of our opponents' notion, that as long 
as we keep to Scripture only, heretics have a reasonable founda- 
tion to rest their errors upon. 

Lastly, he thus addresses the Emperor Constantius ; — " Truly 
" do I admire thee, Lord Constantius our Emperor, desirous of 
" believing only according to what is delivered in the Scriptures ; 
11 and, with justice, evidently hastening to those very words thern- 
" selves of the only-begotten God, that your breast, though filled 
" with royal cares, may also be filled with the knowledge of the 
" divine words. He who repudiates this, is antichrist ; and he 

" who feigns it, is anathema You seek the faith, Em- 

" peror : hear it, not from new writings, but from God's books. 
" . . . . Remember, nevertheless, that there is not one of the 
u heretics who does not now falsely affirm, that he follows the 
" Scriptures when preaching his blasphemies .... Hear, then, 
" I entreat you, those things that are written concerning Christ, 
" lest under them those things that are not written be preached. 
" Incline your ears to those things which I am about to utter 
" from those books ; rouse your faith towards God. Hear what 
" avails for faith, for unity, for eternity." 2 

1 "Hinc apostolicis, hinc evangelieis, Line propheticis dictis, impie haeretice, 
concluderis." Id. lib. v. § 33. col. 873. 

2 "Vere te, Domine Constanti Imperator, admiror, fidem tantum secundum 
ea quae scripta sunt desiderantem ; et merito plane ad ilia ipsa unigeniti Dei 
eloquia festinans, ut imperatoriae sollicitudinis eapax pectus etiam divinoruni 
dictorum conscientia plenum sit. Hoc qui repudiat, antichristus est ; et qui 
simulat, anathema est ... . Fidem, Imperator, quaeris : audi earn non de novis 

chartulis, sed de Dei libris Memento tamen neminem haeretieorum esse qui 

se nunc non secundum Scripturas praedieare ea quibus blasphemat mentiatur .... 
Audi, rogo, ea quae de Christo sunt scripta : ne sub eis ea quae non scripta sunt 
praedicentur. Submitte ad ea quae de libris locuturus sum aures tuas; fidem 
tuam ad Deum erigas. Audi quod proficit ad fidem, ad unitatem, ad aeternitatem." 
Id. Ad Constant. Aug. lib. ii. §§ 8—10. ooi. 123B, 30. 


A more pointed and express condemnation of the views of the 
Tractators could not be uttered; and here again we see, that the 
very fact that the heretics pretended to Scripture authority in 
their favor, formed, in Hilary's view, a decisive reason in itself 
for going to Scripture to ascertain the faith, and taking it only 
upon Scripture-testimony. 

And this passage shows us, that Hilary looked to Scripture 
for the whole faith ; as he states also still more strongly else- 

" Those things," he says, " which are not contained in the 
Book of the law, we ought not even to be acquainted with." 1 

Again ; " It is quite right, that you should be contented with 
those things that are written." - 

And as it respects its full revelation of the doctrine of the 
consubstantiality, and that that doctrine was to be derived 
thence, he says, — " I never heard the Nicene Creed until I 
" was about to be sent into exile ; but the Gospels and Apostles 
" told me the meaning of ' consubstantial/ and ' of a similar 
" substance.' " 3 

Epiphanius. (fl. a. 368.) 

I proceed to the testimony of Epiphanius. 

" We," he says, " believe that which the truth clearly declares, 
" and sound reason persuades, and is agreeable to the canon of 
" true religion, the law and the prophets, and the patriarchs, who 
" succeeded each other from the beginning, and the teaching of 
" our Saviour himself, and his Apostles, who clearly teach us to 
" confess one God the Father," &c. 4 

1 " Quae libro legis non contineutur, ea nee nosse debemus." Id. In Ps. 132. 
§ 6. col. 463. 

2 " Bene babet, ut iis qua? sunt seripta contentus sis." Id. De Trin. lib. iii. 
§ 23. col. 822. 

3 " Fidem NicEenaru nunquam nisi exsulaturus audivi ; sed mild bomousii et 
hoQUBOfflj intelligentiam Evaugelia et Apostoli intimaverunt." Id. De Synod. 
§ 91. col. 1205. 

U/j.ns yap TTHrTevo/jLev, ws iravrr) r\ a\7]6eia virocpaivei, Kal 6 ev\oyos \oyi( 
irrroTidcTat, Kal r<p ttjs tvo~el3elas KavSvi avfXTTftpdvriTat, rw re N<fyto> xal roTs 
TlporprjTais, Kal tols airb twv avtKaQiv Xlarpiapxais /car' aKoXovOiav, rrj re avrov 
tov 'S.wr^pos 8i8axj7, «al ruiv avrov 'Airoar6\oiv <ra<pu>s rj/xas StSao-KOfTwv, 'iva. 


Again ; reproving the errors of the Noetiau heretics, he says, 
" That is agreeable to sound reason, not what these men 
" imagine, but what the truth declares to us through the 
" Divine Scripture." l 

Again ; et For an answer to every inquiry we cannot speak 
" from our own reasonings, but from consequences drawn from 
" the Scriptures/' 2 

Again; speaking of his work called " Ancoratus," he says, — 
" But I have already discussed all those points in a large work 
" concerning the faith .... to which I have given the name 
" ' Ancoratus.' For, as far as my poor mind was able by God's 
" help, having collected together from the ivhole Scripture the true 
" doctrines of the divine revelation, I have clearly set forth, as an 
" anchor as it were, for those who please to make use of it, the 
" holy faith of the Fathers, the faith both of the Apostles and 
" Prophets, and that which has been preached in the holy 
" Church of God from the beginning to the present time, to 
" fortify the mind, and preserve it from danger," &c. 3 When 
writing respecting the faith, then, he knew no other source 
from which to obtain it but Scripture, and the faith so derived 
he calls the faith of the Fathers, meaning by the word Fathers, 
as the context shows, the Apostles and Prophets; in which 
sense he has also used the word elsewhere, as we shall show in 
a future page. 4 

Again ; " But we who are of the Catholic Church, having taken 

6/xo\oye7y Qebv irarepa, k. t. A. Epieha>~. De Haeres. hser. 34. Marcos. § 21. 
Op. ed. Paris. 1622. vol. i. p. 257. 

1 'Ecti yap rb evAoyov, oux <*> s ouroi 5o|a(,ou<rii/, <xAA' a>s f] a\r)deia 8ia rrjs 
Betas ypacpqs ripAV InroBeiKwaiv. Id. ib. haer. 57. Jsoetian. § 3. voL i. p. 482. 

'Hftus Se kK&.(TTr\v £r\ri\p.aros evpecriv ovk anb ibiwv Xoyio-piwv 8wa/j.e0a 
\4yziv, a.X\a anb tt)s rwv ypa<pa>v a.Ko\ov6ias. Id. ib. bar. 65. Paul. Samos. 
§ 5. i. 611. 

3 'AAA.' fjSrj jjloi ireirpayixaTevTai irepl rovroiv irivroiv, iv tw fieyaXco irepl iricrrews 
\6yw .... <£ \6ycfi iTre$4fj.i6a ovo/xa 'AyKvpoor6v. Kol yap KaQairtp 6 tyuerepor 
e|icr^y<r€ irroixbs vovs Sia rrjs rod Qeov fiorjdeias, e'/c 7ra<77jy ypa(pr\s ffwayovrzs to 
a.\i)dwa. rrjs rov Qeov 5i5a<x/caAi'as, &yKvpav Sxrirep rols 0ouAo/teVois rr\v ayiav 
irarepaiv tt'httiv, 'Airoo~To\iKriv re ical Tlpo<prirtK])v, na\ a7r' apx^s &XP 1 T0 ^ Sei'po ev 
rfj ayia rov ®eov eKK\7)<ria KeKf]pvyp.evt]v, cra<pccs irapeOefxeBa, els rb Karex(o~dai r V 1 ' 
Sidvoiaf, Ka\ ao-<pa\i(e(rdai, k. t. A. Id. ib. haer. 69. Ariaii. $ 27. i. 751, 2. 

4 See under Cyril of Axex. in § 5 of this chapter. 


" our confession of faith from the divine Scriptures, have it thus, 
" that the Father," fee. 1 

Again ; when about to reply to the errors of the Anomseans, 
he says, — (l But now, having arranged in order the fundamental 
" points of your chapters, I shall bring against each phrase and 
" chapter refutatory arguments from the divine Scriptures, and 
" from right reason, and confutations of your logical question - 
" ings." ' 2 How is it, then, that we hear nothing here of the 
interpretation possessed by the Church, and derived from the 
oral teaching of the Apostles ? Had Epiphanius held the views 
we are commenting upon, he must necessarily have adverted 
here to that interpretation, as his authority for the sense he gave 
to Scripture ; but as it is, we hear of nothing but Scripture and 
right reason. And so, a little further on, he accuses Aetius, the 
leader of these heretics, because that, being a man by nature, 
and seeking to understand things beyond nature, (viz. questions 
relating to the nature of God,) he sought to know them, not by 
the tenor of Scripture, but by the syllogisms of human reason- 
ings ; 3 whence, I suppose, it follows, that Epiphanius thought 
that such questions should be determined by the tenor of Scrip- 
ture only, and that too by each individual. 

Again ; he says to the same heretics, — " But we must yield 
" our assent with a pious mind and sincere confidence to 
" that which the Holy Spirit teaches us through the holy Scrip- 
" tures." 4 And he concludes, " I conceive that I have now, 
" according to my ability, sufficiently met his arguments, in a 
" simple style indeed, but with proofs from the divine Scriptures 
" and pious reasoning." 5 But all this while we hear nothing 

1 'Hfaels 8e ol rrjs KaBoAiKrjs 'EKK\rjff(as e« to>v 6eiaii> ypa<pwv rrjv &ixo\oyiav 
T7js iri<TTeti)S ira.pei\T\<p6T€S, ovtois ex°M e *'> % ri ° Tlarr/p Sixoiov eariv iaxnov Tiov 
irarrip, k. t. \. Id. lb. bser. 73. Semiarian. § 14. i. 860. 

• 'Apxv v Se aiidis t&v vtto ffov K*<pa\aiuv Ka6e£rjs KaTard^a?, dvriKpvs (KaffT-qs 
Ae'|ews xal necpaAaiov ras 4k twv deiuv ypacpHv xal e'| bp&ov Ko- 
yiff/j-ov avTip}>r)o-tis re, xal ^rjTr)/j.dru»' traod ffoi Koyixwv avarpoirds. Id. ib. ba?r. 
76. Anom. § 3. i. 933. 

3 "AvOpwiros &<v ttj (pvffei. Ka\ to inrep <pvmv fSov\6/j.evos elSevai' elSevai Se ov 
xar' axoKovBlav ypa(pr]s a\\' ex ffvWoytff/xwv fiporeiwv Stavort/xdruf, x. t. \. 
Id. ib. haer. 76. Anom. i. p. 949. 

4 'E£ fvcrefiovs Si \oyifffj.ov, Ka\ Sixaias affcpaAelas eVl ttjv tov aylov TlvevfxaTos 
Sia tuiv ayiuiv ypacpHv oi5affxa\iav ai/axa/xirTcov. Id. ib. ha?r. 76. Anom. i. 

s No/ui(,(«) 8e na\ ixavws rj/xas nphs ras aurov -rrpordffeis Kara rh SwaTov loiwrtxtf 


of the Church being in possession of an Apostolical traditionary 
interpretation of Scripture, though this would have cut the matter 
short at once. 

And as to the completeness of the record of the faith contained 
in Scripture, we may observe the following passage. Writing 
against the Valentinians, he says, — " Their idle fables are 
" destitute of confirmation, the Scripture nowhere mentioning 
" them, neither the Law of Moses, nor any prophet of those who 
" came after Moses, nor, moreover, the Saviour, nor his Evan- 
" gelists, nor the Apostles. For, if these things were true, the 
" Lord who came to lighten the world, and the Prophets before 
" him, and then also the Apostles, who reproved idolatry, and 
" every act of impiety, and feared not to write against every evil 
" doctrine and opposition to the truth, would have declared such 
" things to us plainly." l 

And as to the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son with 
the Father, he says, even as to the word consubstantial, " But if 
" the word were not in the Divine Scriptures, though it is, and 
" plainly occurs in the Law, and in the Apostles and Prophets ; 
" for, ' by two or three witn esses shall every word be established;' 
" yet, nevertheless, it would be lawful for us to use, for the in- 
" terests of true religion, a convenient word," &c. 2 And again, 
still more clearly, — " The word substance does not occur in the 
" letter in the Old and New Testament, but the sense is to be 



Adycji, avcrracrei 5e twv dnb rS>v Beldiv ypcxpwv, Kal avrov rov evcrefious Aoyio~fj.ov 
irpbs avrbv airqvr-qKivai. Id. ib. p. 989. 

'Aavo'rara ra irap' avro7s /j.v8oirotrifj.ara, ovre ttov ypa.rprj$ elirovcr^s, ovre rov 
Mwixrews v6\xov, ovre rivos Tlpocprjrov ruiv fxera Mwvffea, a\\' ovre rod 'Scarripos, 
ovre ro>v avrov Y.vayye\io-riiv, oAA.' ovre (X7)v rSiv 'Airoffr6\(>iv. Et yap ravra 
aArjOiva imripxev, o eXdwv <p<i>ricrai rrjv oiKovixewr)v Kvpios, Kal npb avrov ol Tlpo- 
(prjrai, erretra Se Kal ol 'AttSo'toAoi ol eXey^avres ryv elb~oi\o\arpeiav, iracrov re 
irapayofxov irpa^iv, Kal / SeiAtdaavres ypd(peiv Kara Trdaris irapavSnov SiSacrKaAias 
Kal evavri&rt\ros, aaxpSis av to rotavra rj/juv KarriyyeKAov. Id. ib. haer. 31. 
Valent. § 34. i. 205. 

- Et 5e fit) ijv 7) A.e|ts ev ra7s deiats ypa<pa7s, earn 5e, Kal o~a<pSis eyKeirai ev v6fjL<xi 
Kal itapa. 'Attoo-toKois, Kal rots Upo<prirais' eK yap Svo ixaprvpwv, 4) rpiSiv ffraBriaerai 
irav f>rtna- o/xoos e^bv 1\v rjfuv Si' ebcrefieiav xpV&ao-0ai Ae|ei XPV^'^V ■> K - T - *■• I D * 
ib. hser. 69. Arian. § 70. i. 797. 

Tb rr)s ovaias vvofia, yvfivics ixev iv iraKaiq Kal Kaivrj ov Ktlrai ypa(prj, 6 vovs 
Se Travraxov (peperai. Id. ib. haer. 73. Somiarian. §. 12. i. 859. 


But it may be said, — Does not Epiphauius himself, in other 
places, tell us that there is need of " Tradition V He does so ; 
and we will now consider those passages, and show that they 
touch not the question of the Rule of faith. The sentiments of 
the Fathers respecting the Rule of practice, will be considered 

The first is as follows ; — " But it is necessary to use Tradition 
" also. For, all things canuot be gathered from the divine Scrip- 
" ture. Wherefore, the holy Apostles delivered some things by 
" writing, and some by tradition." l 

But what is it of which Epiphanius is here speaking ? The 
context will show us, for it immediately follows ; — " Therefore 
" the holy Apostles of God delivered the precept to the holy 
" Church of God, that it was sinful for any one, after having 
" vowed virginity, to betake himself to marriage." 2 He is not 
speaking of any doctrine of the Christian faith, but has in view 
only directions relating to ecclesiastical duties, and the rites and 
ordinances of the Christian Church. In his " Exposition of the 
Catholic faith," at the latter end of the work from which we have 
been quoting, he draws a clear line of distinction between the 
two. Having laid down the principal doctrines of the Christian 
faith, he says, — " And these are what the undivided Catholic 
" Church herself holds respecting the faith .... both with respect 
" to the consubstantiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
" and concerning the true appearance of Christ in human 
" nature, and the other parts of the faith. But with respect 
u to her laws, it is now necessary for me briefly to bring for- 
" ward, in a measure, the form of her laws ; such as have been 
" more especially observed in her ; and are observed, some by 

" command, and others by a voluntary reception And in 

" the first place the base, and, so to speak, the foundation in 
" her, is virginity." 3 And he proceeds to notice various other 

1 Ail Se teal TrapaSScret KexprjcrOar ov yap vdvra anb Trjs dtias ypcxprjs Svvarat 
\a/j.$dveadai. Alb to fxhv eV ypcxpcus, to, 8e eV irapoS^trei TrapeSwicav ol ayioi 'AirJ- 
<tto\ol. Id. ib. ha-r. Apostol. 61. § 6. i. 511. 

2 nape'ScoKae roluvv ol ayioi @eov ' KtvocttoKoi rfj ayia. Qeov 'JLiacAriaiq, i<pa/J.aproy 
e?vat rb, /xera to lipiffai -rrapOeviav, els TptTreadai. Id. ib. 

3 Ka\ a. fxiv irtp\ irio-Teoos ex €l «2ttj t) [x6vt] Ka6o\iKr) 'E/CK\7j<Wa .... nepi re 
Uarpbs ical Ti'oD nal aylov XlviVfiaTos bfioovai6r7)Tos, nal ntp\ ttjs evodpnou Xpio-rov, 


customs, rites, and ordinances in use in the Church. And then 
concludes with the remark, already quoted in a former page, 1 
namely, that, " as it respects the other mysteries, namely, con- 
" cerning baptism, and the more sacred mysteries, they are ob- 
" served, according as the tradition of the Gospel and the Apostles 
" [i. e. the New Testament Scripture] directs." 

There is but one other passage, as far as I am aware, which 
appears opposed to our view ; and that, when taken with the con- 
text, offers no real difficulty. Standing alone it reads thus, — 
" For, limits are prescribed to us, and foundations laid, both the 
" structure of the faith, and the traditions of the Apostles, and 
(t the holy Scriptures, and the instructions delivered from one to 
" another ; and through all these, the truth of God is preserved 
" safe, and let no one be deceived by new fables/' 2 But take 
the passage with what precedes, and there is no difficulty ; for, 
Epiphanius is not there discussing any point of the faith, but 
merely some historical matters, namely, the genealogy of some 
persons mentioned in Scripture. His words are these, — " How 
" many others are there whose genealogies are not clearly given ; 
" for instance, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Elijah 
" the Tishbite ; even their fathers and mothers are nowhere 
" mentioned in all the books of Scripture ; but that no error may 
" hence arise, I shall not hesitate to mention what we have 
" received by Tradition .... [and then having given the name 
" of Daniel's father, and the genealogy of Elijah, he proceeds]. 
" But certainly with respect to the three children, Shadrach, 
" Meshach, and Abednego, we find nothing either in Apocryphal 
" books, or in traditions. What shall we say, therefore ? Shall 
" these persons, I mean Shadrach' s companions, delude us into 
" imagining what it behoves us not ; and into holding in high 

teal re\ilas vapovcrlas, Kal akAuv fxepSiv tyjs ■nio'Teovs' irepl Qefffxuv Se ttjs avrrjs 
4f oKiyw ixiv fJLOi ecrl Tta\iv avayKt] rov TtapadiaBai toiv avraiv BecrfJiwv airb pepovs 
rb e75os, 'daantp fpvaei ire<pv\aKrai eV avrfj, Kal (pvAafffferai, to /xev 4k irpoffTay- 

fiaTos, to 5e /caret cbroSox^jf Trpoatpeaeais Kal nrpwrov KprjTrls, Kal, 

us e'nre?y, f3a6,ubs eV avrfj, ri irapdevia. Id. ib. Expos, fid. Cathol. § 21. i. 1103. 

1 See p. 5 above. 

2 "Opoi yap 4re0ri<rav rifJ-lv, Kal dcfieAtot, Kal o'lKoSofij] ttjs irlffreus, Kal 'Atto- 
<tt6Auv Trapa56ffns, Kal ypa<pal ayiai, Kal SiaSoxal SiSa<TKa\ias, Kal 4k iravraxAQtv 
7] aK-qOzia rov Qeov rjct^aAiiTTof Kal fMT]5(ls airaTaaOw Kaivols /xvBots. Id. ib. llicr. 
Mclchis. 55. § 3. i. 471. 


" regard and excessive admiration the reports of every conjec- 
" ture ? God forbid. For, limits are prescribed to us, and 
" foundations laid, both the structure of the faith and the tra- 
" ditions of the Apostles, and the holy Scriptures, and the 
" instructions delivered from one to another ; and through all 
" these, the truth of God is preserved safe ; and let no one be 
" deceived by new fables." 1 

When we take this passage with its context, then, it opposes 
not the doctrine we are endeavouring to establish; for it is 
written with reference to points which form no part of the 
Christian faith. The mind of Epiphanius upon our present sub- 
ject, must be judged by other passages ; for no conclusion re- 
specting it can be drawn from this ; and in other passages, as we 
have seen, he supports the view we are defending. 

The other references to Tradition, to be found in his works, so 
evidently respect only points either of history or discipline, that 
it is unnecessary here to consider them. 

Optatus. (fl. a. 368.) 

The next author that demands our attention, is Optatus ; 
whose clear reference to Scripture, as the Rule of faith, and Judge 
of controversies, has often been quoted on this subject. 

Addressing the Donatists, he says, — " Ye say, It is lawful : we 
" say, It is not lawful. Between your declaration of its lawful- 
" ness, and ours of its unlawfulness, the minds of the people 
** are in suspense and agitation. Let neither of us be trusted in 
" the matter. We are all party-men. We must inquire for 
" judges. If they are Christians, neither of us can supply 
" them ; because truth is impeded by party-spirit. We must 
" seek a judge from without. If he is a Pagan, he cannot know 

Xl6aoi 5e &W01 ov yeveaXoyovvTai Kara rb (pavepdrarof ; AavirjK, 2eSpa.x, 
MiaixK, A&Sevayw, HA105 6 Qeo^LTrjs' Kal iv iraffais p'i)Ta'is f}if3\ots ovSa/xov e'/u- 
<pepovrai rourwy ot iranpis re Kal /njrepes' "va 5e fx^i Kara, tovto ir\dvr) ris yivr\rai, 
ovSev \inrf)(rei a Kal iv wapaSoaevi KaTti\r]<pap.ei> \eytiv .... (pvcrei 5e tu>v 
Tpiwv TratSaiv, 2e5pa;e, Miffax, AfiSevaycc, ovtc iv anoKpixpois ovre iv irapaSSffcfftv 
tvpofjief ti oiiv ipovftev ; &pa KaKuvoi, oi Trepl 2e5pax \^yu, (pavTacrtdaovcriv rj/xas 
\oyl{ea8ai a fi}) XPV> Kat vTrtpdyKus davixd<^eiv imip rb fxerpov Ta Ikixo-ttjs utto- 
Otaews; aWa. fj.7) yivoiro- Kal opoi yap sriQ-r\<jav rj^iiv, K. r. A. (ut supra.) Id. 
ib. pp. 470, 1. 


" the Christian mysteries ; if a Jew, he is the enemy of Christian 
" baptism. Therefore, no verdict can be had on this matter on 
" earth ; we must seek a heavenly judge. But why do we apply 
u to heaven, when we have the Will here in the Gospel ? For, 
" in this matter, earthly things may properly be compared with 
" heavenly. Like as when any man, having many sons, as long 
" as he, the father, is present himself, he himself gives his coni- 
" mands to each of them ; and there is as yet no need of a Will ; 
<f so Christ, also, as long as he was present upon earth, (although, 
" indeed, he is not now absent,) gave commands to his Apostles 
" for everything that was necessary, as occasion required. But, 
11 as an earthly father, when he perceives himself to be near 
" death, fearing lest, after his death, the brothers should quarrel 
" with one another, and go to law, calls witnesses and transfers 
" his wishes from his dying breast to tablets that will endure ; 
" and if a contention shall have arisen between the brothers, the 
" grave is not applied to, but the Will is sought ; and he who 
" rests in the grave, speaks in silence from the tablets ; [so it is 
" with us]. He, whose Will we have, is alive in heaven; there- 
" fore, let his direction be sought in the Gospel as his "Will." x 

How completely contrary this language to that of the Ro- 
manists and the Tractators ! Here Optatus, a Catholic, fully 
admits, that the judgment of the Catholics upon a question, had 

1 " Vos dicitis, licet : nos diciinus, non licet : inter licet vestrum et non licet 
nostrum, nutant et remigant anhnae populorum. Nemo vobis credat, nemo 
nobis : omnes contentiosi homines smuus. Quserendi sunt judices : si Christiani, 
de utraque parte dari non possunt; quia studiis Veritas inipeditur. De foris 
quaerendus est judex : si paganus, uon potest Christiana nosse secreta : si Judseus, 
iniuhcus est Christiaui haptismatis : ergo in terris de hac re nullum poterit 
reperiri judicium; de coelo quaerendus est judex- Sed ut quid pulsamus ad 
ccelum, cum habeamus hie hi Evangeho testamentum ? Quia hoc loco recte 
possunt terrena coelestibus comparari : tale est quod quivis hominum habens 
numerosos fihos, quamdiu pater praesens est, ipse imperat singulis; nou est adhuc 
necessarium testamentum : sic et Christus, quaindiu praesens in terris fuit, 
(quamvis nee modo desit,) pro tempore quidquid necessarium erat Apostolis im- 
peravit. Sed quomodo terrenus pater, dum se in confinio senserit mortis, timens 
ne post mortem suam, rupta pace, litigent fratres, adhibitis testibus, voluntatem 
suam de pectore morituro transfert in talndas diu duraturas : et si fuerit intra 
fratres nata contentio, non itur ad tumulum, sed quteritur testamentum : et qui 
in tumulo quiescit, tacitus de tabulis loquitur. Yivus, cujus est testamentum. in 
coeloest: ergo voluntas ejus, velut in testamento sic in Evangeho requiratur." 
Optati De Schism. Donat. adv. Parmen. lib. v. § 3. Op. ed. Par. 1700. p. 81. 


intrinsically no more weight than that of the Douatists; and 
that Scripture only could give a decisive and authoritative ver- 

Basil of Cesarea. (fi. a. 370.) 

We now come to Basil of Csesarea, whose witness is as fol- 

" It is/' saith he, " a manifest defection from the faith, and 
" mark of pride, either to reject anything of what is written, or 
cc to introduce anything of what is not written ; our Lord Jesus 
" Christ saying, My sheep hear my voice. . . . and the Apostle, 
" by au example taken from human things, very earnestly for- 
" bidding us to add to, or take away from, anything in the 
" inspired Scriptures, when he says, f A man's Will, when 
" confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth to.' [Gal. iii. 15] " l 

No words, surely, can more strongly declare the exclusive 
claims of Scripture, as the Rule of faith and record of revelation, 
than these. 

And in the context, also, the same doctrine is clearly 

" Ye also, yourselves," he says, " well know, that it is the 
" duty of the faithful servant, whatsoever he may have been 
" entrusted with by the good master to administer to his fellow- 
" servants, to preserve these things for them safe, and neither 
" corrupt nor purloin them. Thus, I also am bound to place 
" before you, agreeably to the will of God, for the common 
" benefit, whatsoever I have learned from the inspired Scripture." 
. . . . " While, therefore, I had to contend against the heresies 
" that have arisen at various times, following those who have 
" preceded me, I considered it convenient, out of regard to the 
" impieties vented by the devil, to stop the spread of them, by 
" words directly opposed to the error, and also to overturn the 
" blasphemies introduced ; and to use different words at different 

1 $avepa I kit toc a is Trlartcus Kal vireprjcpavias Karriyopia, if) aBereiv ri ra>v 
y^ypo.fxpAvcDV, v) eTreicrdyeiv rwv fiy yeypap.[j.4vu)v, rod Kvplov rificof 'Itjctov Xptarov 

(IttSi/tos, ra t/j.a 7rpoi3ara rrjs e/J-ys (pwy?}S aKOvei Kal rod o.ttoo'toKov ev 

vTToSily/ auGpojirlyo) ff<po8p6repov inrayopevovTos rb vpoo'deTvai t) v(peAe7is ri in 
reus 6ioirv(varots ypaepous, Si' 5>v <pr)0~tv "O/xuis avQpunrov KfKvpwfj.ei'rii' Sia6yKT)v 
ovSds afle-re?, ?) iiriSiara<r<rerai. BASIL. C.ISAR. Serin, de fide, § i. Op. cd. ]5en. 
torn. ii. p. 224. 


"times, as the necessities of those who were labouring under 
" error required ; and those oftentimes not words of Scripture ; 
" but, nevertheless, not alien to the orthodox meaning of Scrip- 
" ture : the Apostle often not disdaining to use heathen words 
" suitable to his subject." [Where, as Archbishop Laud re- 
marks, " he makes the Scripture the Touchstone or trial" of 
those unwritten woi'ds. 1 ] " But now I have considered it suitable, 
u both to your and my object, in the simplicity of a sound faith, 
" in fulfilling the command of your love in Christ, to speak 
" what I have been taught by the inspired Scripture, sparingly 
c< using even those names and words which are not found in the 
" very letters in the Divine Scripture, though they preserve the 
" meaning of Scripture." 2 And soon after follows the passage 
already quoted. 

And in the latter part of the same treatise, he proceeds to 
say, — u We have neither power nor leisure to collect together, 
" on the present occasion, all the things that are even-where 
" spoken by the inspired Scripture concerning the Father, and 
" Son, and Holy Spirit. But having placed before you a few 
" out of all these, we think these sufficient for your conviction, 
" and for a demonstration that our views are from the Scriptures ; 
" and for the satisfaction, both of yourselves, and those who 
" desire it of us." 3 And he then proceeds to give the articles 

1 Abp. Laud's Conference with Fisher, &C. § 16. n. 26. p. 59. ed. 1686. 

2 AtaKovov Se irtarov fiitov tare irduruis Kal avrol, rb, direp av els rovs avvSovAovs 
oiKOVOfirjcrcu irapa rov ayaBov Secrirorov iricrrevBrj, ravra Siaffaaai tovtois avoBev- 
revs kcu aKawriXevrcos' wffre Kayw, direp eixaQov £k tvjs Beoirvevo-rov ypcuprjs, ravra 
vfxiv irapaBeaBai Kara, rb dpeaKov Qe'2, irpbs rb Koivfj o~vu.<pepov 6<pei\err]S etui .... 
"Ecus /xeu oiiv aywvl^eo'Bai irpbs ras eiravLcrra/xevas Kara Kaipbv alpecreis exp^v, 
eir6fJ.evos rois irpoeiXycpoaiv, 6.k6\ovBov T)yovy.i)v rfj Siacpopa rrjs eirio-ireipofxevris 
virb rov Sia/ioKov daefieias, ra7s dvriBerois (poivals KicKveiv, t) Kal avarpeireiv ras 
eirayofievas ti\aa(pi)ixias, Kal SAAots #\Aais, ws av r) XP eia T ® v voffovvrwv Kar-rjv- 
dyKacre, Kal ravrais woAAcLkis dypdcpois fxev, o'.uais 5' oZv ovk dire£evu>fj.evats rrjs 
Kara tV ypa<pr)v evaefiovs Siavoias' rov diroffroKov iroWaKts Kal 'EK\tiviko7s 
f>7)ixacri xpy°~ ao ~Bai fxrj irapairr\aap.evov irpbs rbv Wiov ctkoitov. Nt)v 5e irpbs rbv 
Kotvbv rjfxuv re Kal vfjLcHv (TKOtrbv apjxo^ov e\oyio~dixi)v, iv airKorrjri rrjs vyiaivovo-qs 
iriffreuis, rb eirlray//.a rrjs vuerepas ev Xpio~rw dydirrjs ir\rjpwo'ai, elirwv a eSt- 
8dx8yv irapa rrjs Beoirvevcrrov ypa<pr}s' (peiSSfnevos /xev Kal rwv ovofjiaroov, Kal 
pT)fx.arb>v eKelvwv, a A.e'|eci fiev avrats ovk t/Mpeperat rfj Beta ypa<pfj, Sidvoidv ye 
ixrjv rr)v eKeivrjV eyKeifievrjv rfj ypa<pfj 8iao~w£et- Id. ib. j 1. ii. 223, 221. 

3 'H/xlv Se irdvra ra iravraxov inrb rrjs Beoirvevo-rov ypacprjs irepl re Tlarpbs 
Kal Tlov Kal 'Ayiov Tlvev/xaTos elpr)fieva, rb irapbv avaXeyeiv ovre tivvafiis, ovre 



of the Creed, with Scripture-proofs, showing that even these he 
derived from Scripture ; and goes on to say, — " Wherefore I 
" exhort and beseech you to refrain from useless inquiries, and 
" unseemly contentions about words, and to be satisfied with what 
" is said by the sacred ivriters and the Lord himself, and to be of 
" a mind worthy your heavenly calling, and to conduct your- 
" selves worthily of the gospel of Christ," &c. ; l adding, a 
little further on, — " Observing that admonition, ' Beware of 
" false prophets' [Matth. vii. 15.], and that, ' Withdraw your- 
<e selves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not 
" after the tradition which they received of us/ [2 Thess. iii. 6.] 
" let us walk by the rule (or, canon,) of the sacred writers, as 
!( built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, 
" Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, &c. [Eph. 
"ii. 20.]" 3 

And he concludes by saying, that having, in what had pre- 
ceded, spoken sufficiently for the occasion respecting the ortho- 
dox faith, he would then proceed to give the instructions he had 
promised respecting morals; and that he had drawn up his 
rules, by collecting together whatever things were spoken of 
with approbation or reprehension in the New Testament. 2, 

In the Treatise on Morals which follows, we have three other 
forcible testimonies of the same kind. 

The subject of one of his " Rules " is given by him thus, — 
" That it is right that every word or thing should be accredited 

<rXoA$7 oAlya Se e« irdvTwv wapade/xevoi, apKe7v yyovfieda Kal ravra rfj 

v/uierepa. o'vvetSrjo'et, irpos re tt\v tov y/xeTepov 4k twv ypa<pwv (ppovriLiaTos (pavepw- 
atv, Kal ti-jv vllwv avTwv Kal twv fiovAo/j.evwv 4<p' ijfjuv irArjpo<popiav. Id. ib. § 3. 
ii. 227. 

1 AiSnep itapaKaAw Kal SeoLiai, iravaaiievovs ttjs irepiepyov £r)T7\arews Kal airpe- 
ttovs Xoyo/xax^as, apKeladai to7s viro twv ayiwv Kal avTov tov Kvplov elpr)fj.evois, 
&i-ia fie TTJs iirovpaviov KA->io~ews <ppove7v, Kal a^iws tov evayyeAiov tov XpiffTov 
■rroAiTevecrdai, k. t. A. Id. ib. § 5. ii. 228. If any proof is required tbat twv 
ayiwv here means the sacred toriters, see Basil. Adv. Eiuioui. lib. ii. § 2. init. 
quoted p. 133 note 3 below, and (if supposed genuine) De Sp. S. c. 13. iii. 24. 

- TypovvTes Kaice7vo rb, Tlpoo'e'x € ' r * "ir^ TWV ^evfioirpocprjTwv Kal t5, 'STeAAeadxi airb iravTos afieA<pov O.TO.KTWS TrepinaTovvTos, Kal /a)] Kcrra ttjv irapdfioaiv %v 
■rrapeAafiov Trap' 7]lcwv, ffToixwfxev t<£> Kav6vi tow ayiwv, ws 4TroiKofio/j.rj6evTes 4nl 
T(f de/xeAlw twv airoffTSAwv ical Trpo(p7]Twv, k. t. A. Id. ib. § 5. ii. 229. 

3 "Ocra Tolvvv evplffKojxev Kara, tijv Kaivrjv Tews AiaO^Kr/v o-Tropdfirjv dirriyopeviJ.eva 
'•}) 4yKeKpt/xeva, Tavra, Kara t2> SvvaTov rjfuv, els 'Spovs Ke<paAaiwfieis irpbs Tb evATjwTov 
tois fSovAofievois 4o-irovfidaaixev ervvayayelv. Id. ib. § 6. ii. 229. 


" by the testimony of the inspired Scripture, for the full assur- 
" ance of the good, and the confusion of the wicked." x 

Again, still more decisively ; — " It is right that those hearers 
" who have learned the Scriptures, should test what is said by their 
" teachers, and receive those things that are agreeable to the Scrip- 
" tures, and reject those that are contrary ; and earnestly avoid 
" those that persevere in maintaining such doctrines." ~ 

And again ; " What is the peculiar characteristic of a Chris- 
" tian ? Faith that worketh by love. What is the peculiar 
" characteristic of faith ? A firm and unwavering assurance 
" of the truth of the inspired words, not to be shaken by any 
" reasoning ; either such as is introduced under the plea of 
" physical necessity, or such as comes under the garb of piety. 
" What is the peculiar characteristic of a believer ? To rest in 
f ' such an assurance, through the power of the words spoken, and 
" not to dare to reject anything contained therein, or to add 
" anything to them. For if, as the Apostle says, everything 
" that is not of faith is sin, and faith is by hearing, and hearing 
<f by the word of God, everything that is not contained in the ix.- 
" spired Scripture, not being of faith, is sin." 3 

We hence see, how entire was his conviction, that the word 
of God was only to be found in the Scriptures ; and that the 
Scriptures were the entire and perfect Rule of faith. 

Moreover, in a treatise of the same kind, but thrown into the 
form of question and answer, we meet with several passages to 
the same effect. 

1 "On 5e2 irav prijxa ?) irpayna iriaTovcrBai ttj /xaprvpia ttjs Bfoirvevcrrov ypaprjs 
els wKripo<popiav ixep tcTjp ayadwp, epTpowT)p 5e tuip Trov7]pc7>p. Id. Moral. Regul. 
xxvi. c. 1. ii. 256. 

- "Oti Set twp axpoaTwv tovs irfirai5evfj.4povs ras ypcxpas SoKiixafetP to. irapa 
tup SiSaffKaKoip Key6/J.epa- k<x\ ra flip arviKpoipa reus ypacpals 5tx f0 ~6 al i Ta ^ e 
aWorpta a.Tro$dA\etp- Ka\ robs toiovtois SiSdytiaffiP inififPOPTas anoffTpetyeffOai 
(T<po5p6Tepoi'. Id. ib. Reg. lxxii. c. 1. ii. 306. 

3 Tt Xolop Xpicrriavov ; irf<rns Si' ayain\s tvtpyov/j.ti'i]. Ti Xoiop irlffTews ; 
aoidicpiTos ir\-qpo(popia rrjs aATjfleias tc2p OioirpevffTwp prjuaTcop, ouotpl \oyiff/xcp, 
ovre irwb (pvffiKTJs apdyKrjs flffa.yofj.fPCf, ovre irpbs tvff4f$eiav 4ffxV^ T ^f J - e "V oiaffa- 
\(vofj.ep7]. Ti fi)wp TriffTOv ; rb 4p ToiavTTj irkripocpopia ffvpoic.Ti6eo~8ai ttj ovvafxa 
tup elprifiepcvp, Kai fj.T)oip To\fj.ap a.OtTt'ip f) 4iriotaTdff<Tfff6ai. Ei yap trap o ovk 
4k iriffTfcvs, a/xapTia 4ot\p, &s <pr)ffip 6 air6ffTo\os, f) 5e iriffTis e| a.Korjs, tj oe olkot) 
8i& f>r)fAaTos Qeov, -nap rb ttcrbs tt)s BeoirpevffTov ypa<prjs ovk 4k wiffTfws op, a/xapria 
effrip. Id. ib. Reg. lxxx. c. 22, ii. 317. 

K 2 


The first is as follows, — " Whether it is lawful or desirable 
" for any one to allow himself even to do or say what he thinks 
" good, without the testimony of the inspired Scriptures:" 1 
and in his answer he discountenances such conduct. This goes 
much further than we should have any wish to contend for. 

Again ; — " Whether it is desirable for new converts immedi- 
ately to learn things from the Scriptures;" to which the answer 
is, that it is " proper and necessary that each one should learn 
" that which is useful from the inspired Scripture, both for the 
" establishment of his piety, and that he may not be accustomed 
" to human traditions." 2 

Again j — "What mind ought a prelate to have in those 
things which he commands or appoints?" To which the reply 
is, — "Towards God, as a servant of Christ, and a steward of 
" the mysteries of God, fearing lest he should either speak or 
" order anything beyond the will of God, as declared in the 
" Scriptures, and be found a false witness of God, or sacri- 
" legious, in either introducing anything foreign to the doc- 
" trine of the Lord, or omitting anything acceptable to God." 3 

To these testimonies, many others may be added from other 
parts of his works. 

Thus, in his homily on repentance, he says, — " We shall treat 
" of repentance from the Old and New Testament ; for these 
" are the Church's treasures." 4 

And, in a passage cited in a former part of this chapter, he 

1 Et e^effrtv i) o~vp.<pepei rivl eavrqi eTrtrpeireiv, nal ■Koieiv 1) Xeyeiv a vofj.l£et 
Ka\a, &vev ttjs fiaprvpias ruv Beoirvevcrraiv ypatpwv. Id. Reg. brev. Interrog. 
1. ii. 414. 

2 Et avp.tpepet rots &pri irpoaepxop.evois ev6vs to airb raiv ypatyHv iKfJ.avda.veii> ; 

Tb irpbs rrjv xP*' lav exaffTov eKp.av6d.veiv etc rrjs Oeoirvevarov ypa(pr\s 

ukAAovOov nal avayicaiov els re ir\t)po(poplav rfjs Oeoffefieias, Kai virep rod /at] irpoff- 
eOio-Brivat avOpoonivais irapaSoaeo-tv. Id. ib. Interrog. et resp. xcv. ii. 449. 

3 Xlorawbv (pp6vi)pa dcpe'iAet ex 6 "' " irpoecrruis ev oh eirird<T<rei, t) Stardffo-erai. 
Resp. Tlpbs ixev rbv Qebv, <l)s vtrriperris Xptarov, Ka\ o1kov6/j.os p.vorrrjpl'jiv Qeov- 
(po/3ovp.evos pA) ri Trapo rb 8e\7]fxa rov Qeov rb ev rats ypa<pa"is 6p.oXoyovp.evov f) 
el-try, fy rvirdo-p, nal evpeOtj \pevb~6paprvs toG ®eov, ^ Up6o-vXos, ev r<p ^ etreip-dyeiv 
ri a\\6rptov T7Js rov Kvpiov 8tfiao~Ka\Las, t) wapa\e7\f/al ri rwv ape<TK6vrccv Qe<p. 
Id. ib. Interrog. et Resp. xcviii. ii. 450. 

4 Ae£op.ev Trepl p.eravoias e'/c TIaAaias re Kal Kan/j}s. Ovroi yap rrjs eiCKkrjo-'tas 
6y\<ravpoi. Id. Homil. de Poenit. $ 1. ii. 603. 


says, speaking of a thing derived from " the Fathers," " But it 
" is not sufficient for us, that it is the tradition of the Fathers. 
" For they also followed the mind of Scripture ; having taken 
" their first principles from the testimonies which, a short time 
" since, we placed before you, from the Scripture." l 

Again ; — " It is the duty of a pious mind to fear to speak, of 
" the Holy Spirit, things that are not mentioned in the Holy 
" Scriptures ; and to believe, that the knowledge and accurate 
" comprehension of the Holy Spirit are reserved for us to the 
" future world." 3 

Moreover, he very expressly refers to Scripture as the Judge 
of controversies, and that in the highest points of faith. 

Thus, in his controversy with Eunomius, he says, — " What 
" mode of investigation could be more proper, than that we 
" should compare what is said with the documents given to us 
" by the Spirit, and receive that which we find to agree with 
" them, and give no credence to that which is opposed to them, 
" but avoid it as an enemy. First, therefore, let him show 
" this, — Which of the sacred writers have called Christ an off- 
" spring and a thing made ? What passages of the Scriptures 
" has he to prove this ? " 3 

And in the Epistle to Eustathius, ascribed to him, occurs a 
similar and still stronger passage to the same effect ; 4 but as this 
Epistle is with greater probability attributed to his brother, Gre- 
gory of Nyssa, I shall cite it when considering the testimony of 
the latter. 

Further, to the passages already quoted, declarative of the 
perfection of Scripture as the Rule of faith, we may add the fol- 

1 Ld. De Spir. S. c. 7. iii. 13. See p. 6 above. 

2 Evcrcfiovs ydp £<tti Stavoias to anocriwirridfi'Ta. if reus aylais ypcupais ev\a- 
#e?cr0ai 4Tri<pTi[j.l(eti> rcy aylw HvfVfj.a.TL, TreTre7a9ai 5e rrjv ifiTreipiav avrov Kal 
anpifiri KaraK-qxpiv e<s rbv vvrepov y\ffiv airoKe7a6ai alSiva- Id. Adv. Eunom. 
lib. iii. § 7. i. 278. 

3 Tis ae oZv TpSrros ttjs e^fTixffeus SiKai^repos yivono, % ro7s SiSay/xafft ro7s 
irapa tov Uvev/xaTos ti/mv Seoofiei'Ois rhv \6yov avynpivovTas, t /xif &»/ e/cciVou 
crv/j.(paivovv (vpwfxiv Kara5ix i<T ^ al i T V ^e ivavriois ex " 1 " 1 airHTTtiv Kal iis i\0pbv 
airo<pevyeiv ; Xlpuirov roivvv 4ks7vo SeiKvvrai, rives roiv aylwv yevv7)p.a Kal TroiTina 
rhv XpKTTbv TrpoaeipriKa<n ; no'ias (x el tywo-s t&v ypa<pS>v (Is airoSft^tf; Id 
Adv. Eunom. lib. ii. §§ 1, 2. i. 238, 9. 

* Id. Epist. 189. § 3. iii. 277. 


lowing ; which occur, however, in Treatises placed by the Bene- 
dictines in their Appendix, as, in their opinion, not genuine 
works of Basil. The reader may judge for himself, as we need 
not their testimony. 

" Believe those things that are written. What is not written, 
inquire not into." 1 

And elsewhere he tells us, that "all the commands of Christ 
are written. " ~ 

Now, from these passages, it is very obvious, that if Basil has 
elsewhere advocated the views of the Tractators, he has most 
pointedly contradicted himself. 

Let us see, however, whether he is so chargeable. 
The chief passage always adduced from him against our views, 
is from the latter part of the Treatise on the Holy Spirit, and 
consequently from apart which has been very generally adjudged 
by our best divines, and by Erasmus, if not others, among the 
Romanists, to be spurious. To the judgment of Erasmus and of 
Bishop Jeremy Taylor, Bishop Stillingfieet and Robert Cooke, 
of our own divines, I have already directed the attention of the 
reader. 3 And to these we may add many others. 

Thus, Bishop Patrick says of it, that it is " a counterfeit part of 
" a book of St. Basil, into which somebody hath foisted a dis- 
" course about Tradition, which as it belongs not at all to his 
" subject, so it contradicts his sense in another place ; particu- 
" larly in his book of Confession of Faith, where he saith, ' It is 
" a manifest infidelity and arrogance, either to reject what is 
" written, or to add anything that is not written/ But admit 
" those words which this man quotes to be St. Basil's, they are 
" manifestly false by the confession of the Roman Church in that 
" sense wherein he takes them. For if those things which he 
" reckons up as Apostolical traditions have equal force with those 
" things which are written in the Scripture, how comes the 
" Church of Rome to lay aside several of them ? For instance, 
" the words of invocation at the ostension of the bread of the 

1 Tots yeypafxfx^vois TruTTeve, to. /«; yeypafi/xeva /U77 tyrei. Id. Hoinil. adv. 
caluran. S. Trin. § 4. ii. 611. 

- Ej /j.i) iravTa tj/mv irpbs rbv rf)s ffccTrjpias ffKoirbv ai/ayKa?a fjv, oUt' &c iypd- 
<pr)<rai> vda-at ai eVroAal. Id. Serrn. de virt. et vit. § 1. iii. 469. 

3 See vol. i. pp. 201, 202. 


" eucharist and the cup of blessing ; the consecration of him 
" that is baptized; standing in prayer on the first day of the 
" week and all the time between Easter and Whitsuntide ? And 
" how comes it about, that others of them are left at liberty, 
" such as praying towards the East, and the threefold immer- 
" sion in baptism ? Both which they themselves acknowledge 
" to be indifferent ; and yet are mentioned by this false St. 
" Basil (so I cannot but esteem him that wrote this) among the 
" things which are of equal force unto godliness with those de- 
" livered in Scripture. Nay, he proceeds so far as to say in the 
" words following, that if we should reject such unwritten tra- 
" ditions, we should give a deadly wound to the gospel, or 
" rather contract it into a bare name. A saying so senseless, or 
" rather impious, that if these men had but a grain of common 
" honesty, they could not thus endeavour to impose upon the icorld 
" by such spurious stuff, as I would willingly think they have wit 
" enough to see this is." 1 

And so Archbishop Laud, quoting Bishop Andrews as his 
authority, says, — " The learned take exceptions to this book of 
St. Basil as corrupted. Bp. Andr. Opusc. contr. Perron, p. 9." 3 

The passage relates to the wording of the Doxology, and the 
writer defends the use of the words " with the Holy Spirit," on 
the ground of Patristical Tradition being in their favor, observ- 
ing, that, tt Of the doctrines and instructions preserved in the 
11 Church, some we have from the teaching of Scripture, and 
" others we have received delivered down to us secretly from the 
" Tradition of the Apostles ; both of which have the like force 
" towards piety; and no one will contradict these things, no 
a one at least who has any experience of the laws of the Church ; 
" for if we should attempt to repudiate the unwritten customs 
" as not having any great weight, we should unwittingly injure 
" the Gospel in the very principal points, or rather reduce the 
" Gospel to a mere name." 3 And he then instances the sign of 

1 Bp. Patrick's Answer to Touchstone of Reformed Gospel, pp. 33 — 5. 

2 Laud's Conference with Fisher, § 16. n. 26. p. 59. ed. 1686. 

3 Toil' iv rfj e/c/cA.7j(7io irecpvAay/xevctiv Soy/j-droiv ko.1 Kripxry/xaTaiv, to /xtv iic tt\s 
tyypd<pov St8a<TKa\las Zx°l M€V i T " ^ * K T ^ s T ^ v o-^ocn6\wv irapaSoaews SiaSo- 
fleVra rjfuv b> fiv<TT7ipia> irapeSe^d/xeOa- airtp afuporepa rrjv aurrji/ Iffxvv ex ei Tpbs 
rrjp evff^eiav Ktxl tovtois ouSels amtpei, ovkovv ootis ye Kara niKpbv yow 


the cross in baptism, and other points of alike kind. A similar 
passage occurs shortly after. 1 

That the author of these passages should be the same as the 
one who wrote what we have quoted above, it is hardly possible 
to conceive. Indeed, they are directly opposed to a passage 
(already quoted) occurring in the former part of the same treatise, 
where, speaking of a similar phrase with relation to the Son, 
Basil says, that though it was from the Fathers, it was not 
enough that it was the tradition of the Fathers, but that they had 
derived it from the Scriptures." 

That this work has been, to say the least, interpolated and 
corrupted, must, I think, be clear to every impartial reader. 

Moreover, this author, whoever he is, when he descends to 
particulars, seems only to apply his observations to customs and 
matters of form and discipline, not to points of faith, as if 
Tradition was any part of the Rule of faith. And in such 
matters it might perhaps be said, that there are some unwritten 
customs that have the same force towards piety as some customs 
commanded in Scripture. The force of the passage, according 
to Bishop Stillingfleet, is this ; — " It was objected, that the form 
" S. Basil used, was not found in Scripture ; he answers, that 
" the equivalent is there found, and that there were some things 
" received by Tradition which had the same force towards piety. 
" And if we take away all unwritten customs, we shall do wrong 
" to the gospel, and leave a bare name to the public preaching. 
" And from thence he insists on some traditionary rites, as the 
" sign of the cross, praying towards the East, &c. His business 
" is, to show that to the greater solemnity of Christian worship 
" several customs were observed in the Church, which are not 
" to be found in Scripture. And if other antient customs were 
" received which ax*e not commanded in Scripture, he sees no 
" reason that they should find such fault with this." 3 

decrfxuiv tKKATjcnaffTiKuiv TreTreiparai. E» yap iiri-)(iip7)CTai^(v to. &ypa<pa twv t6wf 
ws ,U7; fieyd\rjv iX 0VTa - T h v Suvanif irapaiTe?a6ai, \d8oiixtv av eis aura to Kaipia 
£r)p.iovvT€s rb tvayytAiov fxaKKov 8e eis uvop.a tythbv TTepiicrToiVTts ~rb Krjpvy/xa- 
De Spir. S. c. 27. in. 54. 

1 'Anoaro\iKbv, Kai rb reus aypd<pois napaSSffeffi Trapafx.fV€iv. lb. C. 29. 
iii. 60. 

2 De Sp. S. e. 7. iii. 13. See p. 6 above. 

3 Stiilinofleet's Council of Treut examined, p. 25. See al&o his Grounds of 


The passage, therefore, seems at any rate intended only to 
apply to matters of form and ecclesiastical rites. 

And what is more, the view which the author of it takes is 
essentially different from that of the Romanists and the Tracta- 
tors, for he speaks of his " traditions " as secretly and silently 
conveyed down under the veil of mystery, and not published 
abroad in the writings of the Fathers. l 

Let us proceed, however, to some passages that are quoted 
against our view from the genuine works of Basil, and we shall 
find, that not one of them advocates more than what we readily 
admit, namely, that the works of the Fathers are to be referred 
to as affording a confirmatory argument for the orthodox faith. 

For instance, the first passage merely amounts to a general 
declaration of regard for the statements of the Fathers, more 
particularly when compared with those of the heretic Eunomius, 
— in which we most fully agree. The passage with its context 
stands thus; — Eunomius having spoken slightingly of the 
Fathers, and of the sentiments of the great body of Christians 
either then living or of any former age, Basil replies, — " What 
" do you say ? are we not to attribute the greater weight to 
" those who have preceded us ? Are we not to hold in respect 
" the multitude both of the Christians of the present time and 
" of those who have lived since the Gospel was first preached ? 
" Are we not to take into account the dignity of those who have 
" been distinguished by spiritual gifts of all kinds, in opposi- 
" tion and hostility to all of whom you have now introduced 
" this wicked path of impiety ? But having altogether closed 
" the eyes of our mind and driven out of our memory the 
" recollection of every holy man, are we each of us to come and 
" subject his mind in a passive state, cleared of all former im- 
" pressions, to your vagaries and sophisms ? You would be 
" possessed of great power indeed, if it shall fall to your lot to 

Protestant religion, pp. 242 — 4, ed. 1665, and Aechbishop Laud's Conference 
with Fisher, § 16. n. 26. p. 59. ed. 1686. 

1 'Atrb rrjs <ric»7raJ/xeVrjy /col nvffriKrjs irapa56a(cus e'/c tt\s aZyfUHTisvTov 

ravTijs iced airofif>r}Tov StdaaKaAias, %v iv a.-Ko\vKpay^ovr)Tw k<x\ airtpifpydaTGo 
criyfj ol Trarepes tj/jluv £<pvAa£av, KaAws eKt?vo SfStSay/xti/oi, Ttiiv jUucrTTjpiwc rb 
osuvbv (Tianrfj Stacrdo^fffdai ; & yap ovSe iirowTevtti' e|ecrTi ro7s ctyuu^Tois, tovtwi/ 
irus ay i\v ukos t?V SiSaaKaAiav (Kdpia/j.fievtiv iv ypdfj.fxacrtv ; De Sp. S. 
e. 27. iii. 55. 


" have the command of those things which the devil himself 
" with his various artifices has not obtained ; if, that is, in 
" obedience to you, we should judge the tradition that has been 
" held by so many holy men [he was too wise a man to talk of 
" every body always evenjivhere~\ in all past time less valuable 
" than your impious conceits." 1 In all this, I need not say, 
there is not one word from which we dissent. 

Again, Basil says in his Homily against the Sabellians and 
others, — " But let the tradition deter you from separating the 
" Holy Spirit from the Father and Son. The Lord hath thus 
" taught, Apostles have proclaimed this doctrine, Fathers have 
" kept it, martyrs have confirmed it. Be satisfied to speak as 
" you have been taught." 2 But this passage confirms our view ; 
for, by consulting the preceding context, we find that " the tra- 
dition" referred to is " the tradition of baptism," 3 that is, our 
Lord's tradition delivered Matt, xxviii. 19 ; and, in fact, the 
grounds upon which the matter is placed, are precisely those for 
which we contend, namely, the teaching of our Lord and his 
Apostles as the foundation, and that of Fathers and martyrs 
as, in their place, confirmatory of the correctness of our view of 
a doctrine. And, therefore, we agree fully with the admonition 
of Basil in the context, — " I entreat you, not to seek in every 
" way to hear from me that which is agreeable to you, but that 

1 T/ \eyeis ; fJ.r] uei/xw/xey rb irXtov tchs irpoKafiovcn ; fxr] aiSea9a> rb irXridos 
twv re vvv ovrtnv XpHTTiavZv, Kal tS>v oaoi yey6vacriv d(p' ov KaTriyyeAr] to evay- 
yi\iov ; /xr] \oytffU'p.e6a rb a^ico/xa tSiv eV travToiois x a P lcr l J - a(rL Stacpavevraiv irvev- 
IxaTMots, ols diraffiu exfyjai' Kal TroAe/xlav Trjf irovT)pav 68bv Tavrr\v tt}s afft&elas 
iKati/OTdixTicras ; a\Ka [xvcravres aira^anAais tovs tt)s ^"X'? 5 6cp6a\/xovs, Kal navrbs 
ay'tov LLV7}LL7\y tjjs Siavolas virepopiaavTes, ffxoKa^ovaav Kal arecrapooLKvriv rty 
kavrov Kaphiav %ko.<ttos tous rrapaycoyais crov Kal ro7s aro(pi<TLiao~i cptpoures vtto6w- 
fxev ; fxeyaArjs /xeyr' av efrjs rrjs Svvaareias titei\y)fXjx4vos, elwep 5>v rais irotKtXats 
kavrov fXfdoSeiats 6 SmjSoAos ovk zwervx*, tovtoov o~ol rv%^v e| eTTiTay/xaros Tre- 
piiffraf idf ttep ireio-OcvTes ffoi, tt)V iv iravrl rep irapeAdovTi XP^ V V ^ lro Toffovraiv 
ayidov K(KpaT7)Kviav TrapdSoaiu dri/xoTepau Kpli/w/xev rip Svcrcre&ovs vfxwv iitwoias. 
Basil. Cjes. Adv. Eunom. lib. i. § 3. i. 210, 11. 

2 'AAAct (U?) x a 'P^ (r ?? s Harpbs Kal Tlov rb Xlvevfxa rb ayiov, dvcrooTreiru) <re 7) irapd- 
Socris. 'O Kvpios ovrais iSiSa^v, cbrJaroAot eKrjpv^av, rrarepes SieT^prjaau, /xap- 
rvpes ifre&aiwaav apKeo-Briri Xeyeiv ws eSiSaxBr)*- Il>. Horn, contra Sabell. Arium 
ct Anom. § 6. ii. 194. 

3 'H wapaSoo-ts tov /8a7TTtV^aTos. lb. Tbc passage is very similar to one 
of Athanasius quoted above, vol. i. pp. 118, 119. 


" which is well pleasing to the Lord, and accordant with the 
" Scriptures, and not at variance with the Fathers." l 

Thus, also, he says elsewhere, after having laid down what 
he considered to be the orthodox faith, — " These, brethren, are 
" the mysteries of the Church, these are the traditions of the 
" Fathers ;" 2 where he states what he justly considered as a strin- 
gent argument for the reception of what he had been delivering, 
but not as any part of the Rule of faith, for he immediately adds, 
" We adjure every man who fears the Lord and expects the 
" judgment of God, not to be carried away by divers doctrines. 
" If any one teaches otherwise and adheres not to the wholesome 
" words of the faith, but, rejecting the oracles of the Spirit, holds 
" his own teaching to be of more authority than the Evangelical 
" documents, avoid such a man ;" 3 where we plainly see, what 
was his sole Rule of faith. 

Again ; he says, — " But as to the faith, we neither receive 
" that which is written by others, junior to us, nor dare our- 
" selves to deliver the offspring of our own conceits, that we 
" may not make the words of the orthodox faith dependent upon 
" men ; but what we have been taught by the holy Fathers, that 
" we deliver to those who question us/' 4 But " the holy 
Fathers" here mentioned are only " the Nicene Fathers," for it 
follows, — " Therefore the Creed written by the holy Fathers, 
" those, I mean, that met at Nicsea, has been received in our 
" Church from the times of our Fathers," 5 and he then pro- 
ceeds to deliver the Nicene Creed. 

1 'Tfjas Se TrapaKa\ov/J.ev, (jltj e/c iravrbs rpi-Kov ^qreiv rb vjjuv apeaKOV Trap' 
rffiuv aKovaai, aAA' t> rep Kvplcp tvapearov effri, Kal crvfx<pa>vov Tails ypa<pals, Kal /u?j^fJ.evov rols ■narpa.aiv. lb. § 4. ii. 193. 

2 Tavrd iariv, a.Se\<pol, ra ttjs e/c/cA.T)<nas fivtrrripia, avrai rSiu -Karipdiv ai 
irapa86ff€is. Ep. ad Sozopolit. ep. 261. § 3. iii. 403. 

3 Aiafi.aprvp6p.eQa ■Kauri avQpunrw (pofiovfxevca rbv Kvpiov, Kal Kpiaiv &eov ava- 
fjevovri, SiSaxws irotKi\cus fxi] irapa<pepe<T6ai. Et" ris erepoSioaffKaXeT, Kal /mi] irpocr- 
epX^rai vyiaivovo'i \6yois ttjs iriareus, aWa. TrapooOoi/fxevos to rov Tlvev/xaros 
\6yia, tt\v oiKilav StfiacTKaAiav Kvptwrepav iroielrai rSiv evayye\iKS>v SiSay/xarwy, 
<pv\darai(Tde rbv roiovrov. lb. 

4 Uiariv 5e f]fJ-e7s, ovre -nap' &Wwv ypa<pofxevr\v rffJ.1v veutrepav [? veccre'puvj 
irapa5ix^l xi ^ a ' °^re a.vrol ra. ttjs fi/xerepas otavoias ytvvi)fxara TrapaSiS6vat ro\- 
fj.Sifj.ev, 'Lva fJ.T\ avQpdjTTiva iroirprojfj.ev ra ttjs eu<re/3et'as pr)/j.ara 4 dAA' airep irapa ra>v 
aylwv irarepuv Si5i8a.yfj.eda, ravra r<ns epuirSxnv rj/uas StayyeWo/j-tv. Epist. 
ad eccles. Antioch. ep. 140. § 2. iii. 233. 

5 'Eitti rolvvv 4k irarepwv ifjurohirtvofxevr) rfj eKKhrfoia rffxuiv tj ypa<pe?aa irapa 
rwv ayiwv irartpoiv maris, raiv Kara ttjp ti'iKaiav crvveAOovraiv. lb. 


And this assembly that met at Nicsea, or Nice, he justly con- 
siders to have strong claims upon our regard, though not to de- 
mand our faith ; for, having spoken of the Creed promulgated 
by the Fathers that met at Nic^ea, and noticed the fact that some 
persons did not receive the word " consubstantial," which they 
had introduced into it, he says, — u Whom any one might per- 
" haps justly blame, and yet again might judge them excusable. 
" For, on the one hand, not to follow the Fathers, and esteem 
" their word of more authority than their own notions, is worthy 
" of blame as a very arrogant thing ; while again, on the other 
" hand, to be suspicious of a word blamed by others, this seems 
" pretty well to clear them from blame. For, in truth, those 
" that met in the matter of Paul of Samosata, found fault with 
" the phrase as not sounding correct." x 

In all these passages, then, (which, if not all, are at least the 
strongest that can be brought from the writings of Basil, that 
have any show of supporting the views of our opponents,) we 
find nothing which, when compared with his clear statements as 
to the claims of Holy Scripture, given above, presents any diffi- 
culty as to his views on the subject. 

Gregory of Nyssa. (fl. a. 370.) 

From Basil let us pass to his brother, Gregory of Nyssa. 

First; Is Scripture solely and exclusively the authoritative 
Rule of faith ? The following passages will show us his opinion 
on this point. 

In his treatise, i( On the soul and the resurrection," written 
in the form of a dialogue between himself and his celebrated 
sister Macrina, he says, — 

" We have not this power, the power I mean of saying what 
" we please, inasmuch as we use the holy Scripture as our rule 

1 Ovs Kal fi(/j.\pairo &u tis SiKaiais, k<x\ iraMv crvyyvu!fj.ris aurovs a|iw- 
(Jiuv. Tb fxei/ yap /xri a.KoXovOe'ii', Kal tt;i/ £kuvu>v <pwvT)V Kvptoirepav 
Tt6ecr8ai rrjs kavr&v yva>fj.7js, eyKX-imaTos &£tov, ws avdaSeias ycfxov. Tb Se TraAie 
ii(p' erepcov 8iafiAT)9eT(rav avryv vttotttov ex €iv > tovtS irais 5o/c«? rov iyK\T)fxaros 
ai>Tovs /j.(Tpiws i\ev6epovv Kal yap r<p ovti, ol iirl Tlav\ci> t<£ Sayuocroret crvve\- 
06vTes, Stf0a\ov r)]v \4%iv as ovk svt)xov- Ep. ad Canonicas. Q\). 52. § 1. 
iii. 1 15. 


11 for every doctrine and our law ; and being under the necessity of 
" referring to this, we receive that only whatsoever may be agree- 
" able to the scope of what is there written." 1 

And a little further on the dialogue runs thus ; — " I think it 
" behoves us to inquire, with respect to what has been said, 
" whether that which divine inspiration has taught us, is conso- 
" nant with these things. But, said she, [i. e. Macrina] who 
" could possibly deny, but that we must consider that alone to 
" be truth, for which there is the seal of Scriptural testimony ?" 2 

Again; writing against Eunomius, he says, — "But let us 
" proceed to that which follows of his discourse, after we have 
" added a few words directed to the confirmation of our doctrine. 
" For, since the inspired testimony is the sure criterion of truth 
" in the case of every doctrine, I think it well to prove the 
" truth of what I have said by citing the divine oracles." 3 

And so, in other passages, when challenging Eunomius for a 
proof of his doctrines, he speaks so as clearly to show, that Scrip- 
ture was the only authority by which doctrines were to be 

Thus, speaking of a doctrine advanced by Eunomius, he says, 
— " If, indeed, these are the doctrines of any of the heathen 
" philosophers, let not the Gospels, or the rest of the revela- 
" tions of the inspired Scripture, be at all troubled about the 
" matter; for what communion is there between the Christian 
" doctrine and the wisdom that has become folly ? [1 Cor. i. 22.] 
<( But if they depend upon the Scriptures, [as he manifestly 
" thinks they ought to do, to the exclusion of all other autho- 

1 'H/teTs Se ttjs e£ovenas aixoipot tovttjs £ff[x.\v ttjs \iytiv (prifj.1 cnrep $ov\6/xe6a, 
Kav6vi iravrbs Soy/xaros Kal v6fxet> KfXPyH-*" 01 Tp ayia ypa<prj' avayKaiais irpbs 
touttjj' @\4irovTes tovto SexS/xeBa ix6vov OTiirip av J) avfX(p(jivovv T<p tuiv yeypa/j.- 
nevaiv (tkottw. Geegoe. Xtss. De anim. et resurrect. Op. ed. Paris. 1615 — 18. 
torn. ii. pp. 632, 3. (ed. 1638. torn. iii. pp. 200, 201.) 

2 Zr)Teiv ol/xai Seiy ivl toTs elpi)fxtvois, el f) Qedirvevaros StSaffKaXla tovtois 
ffvfjL<peperai. 'H 8e, Kav tis av avreiiroi, <pi)<rl, fxri ovxl ev tovtqj fi6v(f> rrjv aK-q- 
Oetav riOecrdco, w acppayls etrecTi ttjs ypa<piKrjs fxaprvplas. Id. ib. torn. ii. p. 639. 
(torn. iii. p. 207. ed. 1638.) 

3 'H/uels 8e Trpbs rot i<pe£r)s rod \6yov irpoe\6wfj.ev fjLiKpwv en Trpbs crviJTaaiv rov 
rifxerepov SSyfiaros TrpocrSiopBridevTwv [? TrpoaSiopOcaOevTwv^' eireiS?/ yap Kptrrjptov 
a<T(pa\es rr)s a\r)deias em iravrbs S6yixaTos i) 8eoTrvevffT6s eari fxaprvpia, KaAcDs 
exeiv vyov/xat ttj irapaQeaei rwv Be'tcov, Kal rbv rj/xerepov \/>yov wiffTwaacrOat. 
Id. Contr. Eunom. lib. i. Appendix, p. 82. (torn. ii. p. 346. ed. 1638.) 


" rities,] let him give an instance of such language from the 
" holy writers, and we will be silent." l 

And, after charging him with saying, that the Word or Son 
of God is " not uncreated," (jxi) a/crioroy) he adds, — " Let him 
" say, whence he derives the boldness to affirm this : from what 
'• divinely-inspired testimony ? What Evangelist, what Apostle 
** uttered such a saying ? What prophet, or lawgiver, or pa- 
" triarch, or any one else of those who were divinely inspired by 
" the Holy Spirit, ivhose words are committed to writings taught 
" such a phrase ? We have learnt in the tradition of the faith 
" by the Truth to believe in the Father, and Son, and Holy 
** Spirit. Ought we to believe that he is created ? How is it 
" that the Truth when delivering to us the mystery has enjoined 
" faith in the Son and not in a creature ? And how is it that 
" the divinely-inspired Apostle, while he worships Christ, de- 
" clares that those who extend their worship beyond the Creator 
" to the creature are idolaters ?" 3 

1 Et fiev oi>v Tiv\ rSiv e|o) o~o<p<cv Taura Soxet, /J.r)5ei> evox^-elcrOa: ra elayyehia, 
fi7]Se 7) A.017T7) ttjs deoirvevffrov ypa<prjs SiSacKa\ia. Ti's yap Koivwvia t<£ XpiaTiapy 
\6ya> wpbs tt)v pLwpavBelaav <ro<piav ; el Se rots ypa<piKO?s iirepeiSerat, 5ei|aTa> 
ToiairrTjj' eK t5>v ay'ioiv cpinvriv, Kal yp-eis <rueiri\(rofieV' Id. Coiltr. Eunom. 
Orat. 9. torn. ii. p. 254. (Orat. vel lib. 10. torn. ii. p. 632. ed. 1638.) 

2 In the somewhat celebrated work among the Romanists, compiled by the 
Key. Messrs. Berington and Kirk, entitled "The faith of Catholics confirmed by 
Scripture, and attested by the Fathers," &c., intended to show by a large collec- 
tion of Patristical testimonies that the witness of the Fathers is altogether in 
favor of the Romish Creed, the unfortunate mistake has been made of adducing 
this very passage in support of the Romish doctrine of Tradition, the word avi- 
ypairroi, " committed to writing, " being interpreted, in just the opposite sense 
to its meaning, "Unwritten." (.See 3d. ed. 1S46. vol. i. p. 421.) The work is one 
which may look very formidable to an uninstructed reader, but to one at all 
versed in the writings of the Fathers and acquainted with the nature of the con- 
troversies in question, can hardly, I conceive, give much trouble. But it would 
be out of place to notice it further here. 

3 Tl66ef ix ei r ^ v Tapp'rjffiav, elnaTov eK iroias OeoTrvev&TOV (pwvrjs ; ti's ei>a7- 
7eAicrT?;s, iro7os cnr6<TTo\os t)]v roiavTriv acpiJKe <poovi}v ; ti's Trpo<f>i)rT]s, $1 vop.odeTrjs, 
1) TraTpidpxys, ?) &\\os ti's tuu vtto rod 'Ayiov Xlvevp-aros 6eo<popovp.ei/o>p, £>v 
avdypaiTTOi elfflv at <pu>val, ttjs roiavr-qs frrjffews KaTi)yr)craTO ; Tlarepa Kal Ylbv Kal 
TlvevpLa "Aytov ev Ttj irapaSoaei ttjs irio~Teu>s irapa. ttjs a\7]6eias ifiadofj.ev. H 
KTiffTOv avrbv elvai iriareveiv expW > 1r ^ >s T'apao'ib'ovo'a r]fj.7v to fxv(TTT]piov rj aKyOeia 
tt]v els rbv Tlbv iricmv Kal ovk els rb Kr7afj.a evop.odeTr)0'e ; tries 5e irpocrKvvwv rbv 
Xpio-Tuv 6 0e7os air6(TTo\os, t us rij KTicrei \arpevovras irapa rbv kti'owto, 
elHw\o\aTpe7v 5iopiC>Tai ; Id. Contr. Eunom. Orat. 1. torn. ii. p. 33. (Orat. vel lib. 
2. torn. ii. p. 461. ed. 1638.) I have placed a full stop after inddonev, instead of 
a comma, as the sense evidently requires. Both the punctuation and the Latin 
version of these editions are often very incorrect. 


Here Scripture alone is referred to as the source from which 
Eunomius could obtain any authority for his doctrine. And we 
may observe, that the phrase " the tradition of the faith," so 
often misunderstood as meaning church-tradition, is clearly used 
for the tradition of Scripture on the subject. 

Another passage precisely similar occurs in another part of 
the same work, which we have given below. 1 

And to the Holy Scripture he distinctly appeals, as the Judge 
of controversies among Christians. 

In his Treatise respecting the Trinity, he says of certain 
heretics, — " They charge us with introducing novelties, forming 
" their accusation against us thus. When we confess three 
" hypostases, they accuse us of saying, that there is one good- 
" ness, one power, and one Godhead. And they affirm this not 
(t without reason. For such is our language. But they blame 
" us for this, and object against us, that the faith, ascustomably 
" received among them, does not contain this, and the Scripture 
" does not agree with it. What, then, do we say to this ? We 
" do not think it just, that the custom that prevails among them, 
" should be made the law and rule of right doctrine. For, if 
" the plea of custom is valid as a proof of the correctness of what 
" is said, it will be lawful for us also, without doubt, to bring 
" forward in opposition the custom that prevails among us. 
" But if they repudiate this, neither doubtless can we be called 
" upon to follow them. Therefore let the inspired Scripture be 
11 the arbiter of the controversy between us, and the suffrage of the 
" truth will, beyond doubt, fall to the lot of those whose doctrines 
" shall be found agreeable to the divine words.'' 2 In these words, 

1 Tloiav ivpwv (K rris ypacpTJs cnciav rov roiovrov vorjfJ.aros, ravra roAfx.5. ; etc 
■Koias apxvs Si' aKoXovOov irpbs rb rowvro irepas irporiyaye rrjv aaefiziav ; ris rSiv 
tvayyeXiarwv (prjffi ; ris 6.ir6crro\os ; ris irpo<p-firT)s ; irav fiev oiv rb ivavriov iruaa 
yparpr) 8e6irvev(Tros, r/ Sia t?;s iirnrvoias rov Tlvev/xaros avaypa<pe7<ra, /xaprvpel t<£ 
Uviifxtxri rriv 8e6rrira. Id. Contr. Eunom. Orat. 1. torn. ii. p. 59. (Orat. vellib. 
2. torn. ii. ed. 1638.) 

2 'AAAci Kaivorofxiav rffuv irpo<p4povo~iv, ovraiirl rb eyKKrjfjia Kaff tjixHv avvri- 
Oevres' rpeis irnoo~rao~tis d/xo\oyovurwv, fxiav ayaOorrjra, \xiav Swajjuv, koX fxiav 
6i6rj}ra Ktynv fj/ a'iriwvrai. Kal ovk e|co rovro r r r\s aKr\Qiias tpacriv \eyo l u€v 
yap, aAA' [read, (pacriv \4yofj.ev yap. 'AAA'] 4yKa\ovvres rovro irpocptpovcriv, 
Sri y] o~W)ideia avroiv rovro ovk cx ft i Ka ^ V ypa<pi) ov crvvridtrai. Ti oZv Kal irpbs 


then, the Holy Scripture is clearly and distinctly put forward, in 
that character to which Dr. Posey and his party tell us it has no 
claim, and for a purpose which the same persons tell us it cannot 
fulfil, namely, as the proper arbiter of controversies among 
Christians. The appeal which those heretics made to the 
Scripture, saying that the orthodox doctrine was not agreeable 
to Scripture, did not for a moment prevent Gregory's appeal to 
it as the arbiter of the controversy. 

jN'ay more, he even speaks of it in one passage as our sole 
authoritative rule in points of ecclesiastical duty. In his treatise, 
u Respecting those who visit Jerusalem," he says, — " I assert 
" that it is proper for those who have once dedicated themselves 
" to a heavenly course of life, to refer in everything to the words 
" of the Gospel ; and, as men shaping their work by a rule, 
" reduce the crooked things in their hands to straightness by 
" the straight line of the rule, so I think it proper, that those 
" persons applying to these things a certain right and immu- 
" table rule as it were, I mean the course of life laid down in the 
" Gospel, should shape their course to God by it. Since, there- 
" fore, there are some of those who have chosen for themselves 
" a solitary life in retirement, by whom it has been determined 
" to be a pai*t of religion to see those places in Jerusalem in 
" which are seen the evidences of our Lord's sojourn in the 
u flesh, it would be well to look to the rule ; and if the tendency 
" of the precepts there given is such as to exhort us to it, to 
" perform the act as a command of the Lord ; but if it is not con- 
" tained in the commands of the Lord, I know not what precept 
" there is, that a man becoming a law of what is good to himself, 
" should desire to do something not commanded." l 

tovto r)fxe7s ; ov voixi^ofjiev SlKaiov elvai rr\v Trap' airroTs ewiKpaTovcrav ffvvr)6eiav 
v6fnov Kal Kav6va tov 6p6ov TroielffQai \6yov El yap laxvpSv effn els bpQoTr)ra 
\6yov r) <rwr)deia, e^ecrrai not r)fuv irdvTws avrnrpotSdWeaOai rrjv Trap' r) eVi- 
Kparovaav avvrjQeiav el Se irapaypa<povTai ravirjv enelvoi, ovSe Tjfuf TtavTws clko- 
KovOrjTeov eneivois. Ovkovv r) 6e6irveviTTos 8iaiT7)<rd.Tti> ypa<pi), Kal Trap' ols 
av evpedfj ra 8o'y/uaTa (TvvccSa toIs Beiois \6yois, eVl tovtols 7)|ei travrus ttjs aKrj- 
Beias t} \\ir)<pos. Id. De S. Trin. cp. ad Eustath. torn. ii. pp. 439, 40. (torn, 
iii. p. 8. ed. 1638.) This Letter is also ascribed to Basil, and is given among his 
Letters (ep. 189. ed. Ben.), but probably belongs to Gregory Xyssen. 

1 'E-yw tovs aira^ avaTe$etK6ras eavrous rfj ii^riXfj TroMrela, KaKcus ex* 1 " 'PVfd 


Here, then, the Scripture is proposed to us as our Rule, 
even in a more extended sense than that for which we are now 

In several of these passages, also, we must observe, that he 
places it before us as a full and complete Rule in respect of 
extent, that is, as embracing not only all the necessary, but all 
the doctrines of the Christian faith. 

There is, however, one passage in his writings, (I am not at 
present aware of more than one,) which requires a remark ; but 
which, especially when taken in connexion with the passages 
we have just quoted, as of course it must in fairness be taken, 
admits of an easy and satisfactory explanation. 

The passage occurs in one of his Orations against Eunomius, 
and is as follows ; — " Let no one murmur against me, and say, 
" that that also which is confessed by us, needs to be certified 
" by a demonstration. For it is sufficient as a proof of our 
" doctrine, that we have the Tradition that has come to us from 
s< our fathers transmitted as a sort of inheritance by succession 
"from the Apostles through the succeeding saints. But they 
" who have changed the doctrines [of the Gospel] to this new 
" faith, would indeed need much aid from argumentative reasonings, 
" if they should be anxious to bring over to their opinion not 
" merely those who are easily excited and fickle-minded, but 
" also those of a steady mind and fixed views. But while their 
" doctrine is brought forward destitute of foundation and proof , 
" who would be so foolish and brutish, as to make the doctrine 
" of the Evangelists and Apostles, and those who SUCCeS- 

irpbs ras rod evayyeXlou Sia navrbs aTro&XeTreiv (pcavds' Ka\ wcrnep ol rep navovi rb 
viroK.elpi.evov airevOvvovTes, Kara t))v eirl tov kuvovos eiideiav ra o~KoXia to. ev 
yepaiv els eiOiiTrjTa /xeTafiaXXovaiv, ovrois irpoaijKeiv Tjyovpiai olovel rtva Kavova 
op&bv koX aSidcrrpcKpov, tijv evayyeXiKTjv Xey<u Srj TroXiTelav, tovtois ewif3d.XXovTas, 
Kar' eKelvyv irpbs rbv Qebv cnrevdvvecrOai. 'E7ret toivvv elai rives tSiv rbu fxovrjprj 
kou Ibid^ovra [iiov eiravrip-r)p.eva>v, ols ev p-epei evaefielas to tovs ev 
'lepoo~oXv(j.ots t6ttovs lSe7v, ev ois to <Tvp./3oXa ttjs Sia trapKbs eTTiSr)fj.las rod Kvplov 
dpcirai, K<xAa>s tw «X 0( v pbs rbv KaxSva fiXeireiv koX el ravra (iovXeTo.i t) wapa 
twv £vtoXwv x il P a y< t >y' la i Toielv rb epyov, ws ■npoaTayp.a Kvplov el Se i'fa) ear! 
twv evToXoiv tov AeffiroTOv, ovk olSa t'i ecrri rb b~ta.TeTa.yp.evov ti OeXetv •Foielv 
avrbv eavTov tov KaXov vSpov yiv6p.evov. Id. Orat. (le lis qui aclt-uut HietOSOl. 
torn. ii. p. 1081. (torn. iii. pp. 651, 2. ed. 1638.) 


" sively shone in the Churches, of less weight than his idle 
" prattle, which is destitute of all evidence in its favor ?" x 

Now, to understand this passage, we must observe, that his 
opponents had been resting their doctrines upon human reason- 
inys and logical arguments, and are charged by Gregory with 
having taken, as the foundation of their statements, positions 
the truth of which they had not even thus demonstrated? Re- 
plving, then, by anticipation, to a similar charge against himself, 
he says, in the words we have quoted above, Let no one say, 
that what I have advanced needs such a demonstration, because 
my doctrine is that of the Evangelists and Apostles, and there- 
fore needs no such demonstration, as being founded upon the 
statements of persons inspired. If even we suppose, therefore, 
that the Tradition to which he alludes was something indepen- 
dent of the Scriptures, this will not make the passage adverse to 
our views ; for, the only point on which he was insisting was, in 
reply to the objection that his doctrine needed logical demonstra- 
tion, that, being " the doctrine of the Evangelists and Apostles," 
it needed no such proof of its truth. But if it had further been 
questioned, whether his doctrine really was " the doctrine of the 
Evangelists and Apostles," the passages we have quoted from 
him above clearly show, to what he would have appealed as 
the Judge, namely, the testimony of Scripture.. And his use of 
the words, " the Evangelists and Apostles," the usual phrase with 
the Fathers for the New Testament, strongly confirms this view. 

And I much doubt, whether he was here speaking of Ecclesi- 
astical Tradition, and am inclined to think, from his own phra- 

1 Kai uoi /njSels viroKpovirai Kai t?> irap' yjfiwp StofioAoyoi'ifxevov Sta. KaraaKevrjs 
Kvpaidr/faf apKti yap els air6Sei£tv rod r/p-tTtpov \6yov rb %X €lv "xaTpdOtv ViKovcrav 
irpbs 7)p.u.s t))v irapd.Socrti', olovel Tiva KKripov Si anoXovdias 4k tu>v aifoo~r6\wv Sth, 
rwv i(pe^ris hyiaiv irapcnrep.pOei'Ta- ol Si irpbs rrjv Kaiv6rr]Ta ravTTjv fxeraridefres ra 
S6yp.ara, tro\\r\s av Seotfro ttjs 4k rwv Koyiffp.S>v o-vfj./j.axias' « fieAoiev pn) tovs 
KovioprwSeis tSiv avBpunrwv Kai evpiiricTTOvs, aWa. Kai tovs 4fx$pi9eis re Kai ySejSTj- 
Koras rats Siavoiais irpoffayeffBai' ecus 5' av aKardcTKevos avTois Kai avairoSeiKTos d 
Aoyos irpocpepoir' au, tIs ovtws r)\i8ios Kai KTrivciSr/s, ws rwv tvayyt\itnwv re Kai 
atro<rT6\ti>v, Kai riov Ka8t£rjs 4v rals 4KK\r)<xiais SiaXa/j.^dviaiv, aadevearipav t^v 
StSacTKaXiav ttjs avawoSe'iKTov (p\vapias Troiricracrdai. Id. ib. orat. 2. p. 126, 
7. (orat. 3. pp. 554, 5. ed. 1638.) I have taken the liberty in the last sentence 
of slightly altering the Editor's punctuation, which seems dearly incorrect as well 
as his version. 

- Outos curb t£>v ap.(pi(xBrirovfjLffOiiv &pxerai, Kai, ais cnroStSiiypieywv, apxh" T V 
4<pe^s SiSucTi Koyu. Id. ib. p. 126. 


seology elsewhere, that he was referring to the Tradition of the 
Apostles in their writings handed down to him by those who 
had preceded him. For, in another place, having remarked, 
" Let us believe that only to be the true mystery of piety which 
" has been delivered [irapeiboOi]'] to us by the Word himself and 
" God," and having spoken of " the faith put forth by the Lord 
of all," he adds, — " which [faith] word for word we keep pure and 
" intact as we received it, and judge the least depravation of the 
11 words delivered \j:apaho6lvToov\ the extreme of blasphemy and 
" impiety. We believe therefore as our Lord set forth the faith 

" to his disciples, saying, ' Go and teach all nations,' &c 

" This faith delivered by God to the Apostles we neither 
" diminish nor change nor add to." 1 "Where it is evident that 
Scripture only is referred to. 

And Holy Scripture is often referred to by the Fathers as 
having come down to them by successional delivery from one 
to another from the times of the Apostles through the succession 
of bishops and pastors of the Church. An instance occurs in a 
passage of Augustine given p. 169, below. 

Ephr^m Syrus. (fl. a. 370.) 

" The end and aim of piety," says Ephrsem Syrus, " is clearly 
" set before us ; it consists, namely, in our believing ayreeabhj 
" to the sacred declarations of the Gospels, and the rest of the 
" Holy Scriptures, giving ourselves up also to every good work, 
" and to the cultivation of every virtue." 2 

And again, he sums up the Christian's faith in a belief in 
" those things that are written in the divine Scriptures ." 3 

1 Trj irapa rov Secrirorov twi> o\a>i> earede'iay iricrrer $ji> eirl \e£ews KaQapav ual 
airapeyxeiprjrov <pv\d(T<rofiei> ws irapeKa^ofxev Kai rrjv ev b\iya> iraparpoirriv tuiv 
irapaSodevTow pijuarcou eax&TW Kpivovres $\ao-(pr]/xiav re iced acrefieiav. TliffTfv- 
o/iev ovv Kadcos e^edero rois /xadrirais rrjv tt'kttiv 6 Kvpios 6 elirwv on iropevdevTes 

IxaBriTtvo-are k. t. \ ravrr/s otiv irapa tov 0eov Toh airo<TT6\ois irapaSodeio-qs 

tt)s irio-Tea>s, ovre ixpaipecriv, ovre lrapaWayriv, ovre irpocrdr]Kriv iroiovjj.eda. Id. 
Contra Eunom. orat. i. writ, torn. ii. p. 2. (orat. 2. init. torn. ii. ed 1638.) 

" 1,KOirbs ttjs evcrefietas irpoKei/xevos els to iriareveiv Kara ras Upas toiv eitay- 
yeXiwv ual rwu Koittwv ayiaiv ypa<pa>v eirayyeXtas, eiriSiSdi^ras eavrous eh itav 
epyov ayaObv Ka\ els nacrai' aperrji eirir-nSevaiu. EPHSSH. SyE. Instit. ad 
Moiiach. Op. ed. Rom. 1732 ct seq. torn. ii;. p. 325. 

3 2u 5e irio~reve, ayair-qTe, rots yeypa/.ifiei'ois ev tois Oeiais ypacpais. Id. In 
illud, Attends tilii ipsi. cap. 4. torn. i. p. 23 !•. 

L 2 


Ambrose (fl. a. 374.) 

We come next to Ambrose, whose testimony is as follows. 
" Trust to no one," he says, " to guide you, but where the light 
" of that lamp [i. e. Scripture'] goes before. For where you 
" think it shines, there is a whirlpool ; it seems to shine, but it 
" defiles ; and where you think that it is firm or dry, there it is 
" slippery. And, moreover, if you have a lamp, the way is long. 
" Therefore let faith be the guide of your journey ; let the divine 
" Scripture be your path. Excellent is the guidance of the hea- 
" venly word. From this lamp light your lamp ; that the eye 
" of your mind, which is the lamp of your body, may give 
" light." 1 

Again, he says, — " I read that he is first, I read that he is 
" not second ; let those who say that he is second, show where 
" they read it." 3 

Again ; " I would not, O sacred Emperor, that you should 
" trust to argument, and any reasoning of mine ; let us inquire 
" of the Scriptures ; let us interrogate the Apostles ; let us inter- 
" rogate the Prophets ; let us interrogate Christ." 3 

So far from making his interpretation of Scripture part of 
the Rule of faith, as derived from " Tradition," or on any other 
ground, he entreats the emperor not to trust to his explanation 
of the matter, but to go to Scripture as that upon which alone 
his faith should be founded, and make Scripture the judge of 
the controversy. 

And to the same effect he speaks in other places of the same 
work. 4 As also elsewhere ; as, for instance, — ' ' I would not 

1 "JSulli credas tuuin, nisi praeeunte lucernae istius luce, processuin. Nam ubi 
putas quod luceat, gurges est : videtur lucere, sed polluit : et ubi putas solidum 
esse vel siccurn, ibi lubricum est. Sed et si lucerna. tibi, iter longius sit. Sit 
ergo fides tibi itinera tui previa, sit tibi iter Scriptura divina. Bonus est co?lestis 
ductus eloquii. Ex bac lucerna accende et tu lucernani ; at luceat interior oculus 
tuus, qui lucerna est tui corporis." Ambkos. In Psalm. 118. Serin. 14. § 11. Op. 
ed. Bened. Paris. 1686. torn. i. col. 1143. 

2 "Lego quia primus est, lego quia non est secundus. Bli qui secundum 
aiunt, doceant lectione." Id. De instit. virg. c. 11. i. 265. 

3 " Sed nolo argumento credas, sancte Imperator, et nostra? disputationi : Scrip- 
turas interrogemus, interrogemus apostolos, interrogemus propbetas, interrogemus 
Christum." Id. De fide, lib. 1. c. 6. ii. 451. 

« Sec ib. c. 16. u. 464. 


" that my statement should be trusted, let the Scripture be 
" recited." 1 

Other passages might be quoted confirmatory of the same 
view. 2 

And, as it respects more particularly the exclusiveness and 
completeness of Scripture as our only divine revelation, he says, 
" How can we use those things which we do not find in the 
Holy Scriptures ?" 3 

Again, more pointedly, commenting on Matth. xxi. 12, (or, 
Luke xix. 45) he says, "The Lord's money is the divine Scrip - 
" ture ; for when about to depart, he distributed pence to his 
" servants, and divided talents; and for the cure of the wounded 
" man, left two pieces of money to the keeper of the inn ; for, 
" by the two Testaments, our wounds are cured." * 

Similar passages might easily be added. 5 

And here we may notice also, that, as it respects the full de- 
livery of the Nicene doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son 
with the Father, the author of the Treatise, " On the orthodox 
faith against the Arians," attributed to Ambrose, and admitted 
by the Benedictines to be an antient and beautiful treatise, arsd 
referred to by Augustine, observes, — " Since, therefore, you 
" may recognise this unity of substance in the Father and Son, 
" not only by Prophetic but by Evangelical authority [passages 
" from the prophets and the Gospel of John having been quoted 
"in proof of it], how say you, that ( consubstantial ' is not 
"found in the divine Scriptures; as if ' consubstantial ' was 
" anything else than what he says, ( I came forth from God the 

1 " Xolo nobis credatur, Scriptura recitetur." Id. De lucarn. Dominic. Sac-ram. 
c. 3. ii. 706. 

2 See in Psalm. 118. Serm. 8. § 59. i. 1078. and, Expos. Evang. sec. Luc. lib. 
8. § 19. i. 1474. 

3 "Qua? in Scripturis Sanctis non reperimus, ea quemadmodum usurpare possu- 
mus ?" Id. De offic. Ministr. lib. 1. c. 23. ii. 29. 

4 " Pecunia Domini Scriptura divina est ; nam et denarios servis distribuit 
profecturus, et talents divisit, et pro sanitate bominis vulnerati duo a>ra stabulario 
dereliquit; duobis enim Testamentis vulnera nostra curantur." Id. Expos. 
Evang. sec. Luc. lib. 9. § 18. i. 1498. 

5 See De Paradiso, c. 12. i. 171. and, Expos, in Psalm. 118. Serm. 18. § 37. 
i. 1206. 


" Father/ and ' I and the Father are one ;' or what the prophets 
u clearly intimate as to the substance of God V n 

Jerome, (fl. a. 378.) 

We pass on to the celebrated Jerome. 

" Our care is/' says Jerome, " to speak, not what each may 
be able or willing to speak, but what the Scriptures direct." 2 

'■'When anything appears to you harsh in my work, do not 
" look at my words, but at Scripture, whence my words are 
" derived." 3 

" It is to be proved by us, by the testimonies of the Holy 
Scriptures, in which God speaks every day to those who believe." 4 

" Lest you should cavil at anything," he says to Helvidius, 
" and writhe yourself like a slippery snake, you must be bound 
" by the chains of testimonies, lest you querulously murmur, 
" and say that you are overcome rather by tortuous argumenta- 
" tions, than by the truth of Scriptures." 5 And this remark, 
be it observed, is made respecting a point which is expressly 
instanced by the Tractators as one that depends upon " Tradi- 
tion," and in which "Tradition" is a sufficient informant, 
namely, the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord. 

Again ; " Moreover, since the Lord's flesh is meat indeed, and 
" his blood drink indeed, by consequence we have this only 
" good in the present life, to feed upon his flesh and drink his 
w blood, not only sacramentally, but also in the reading of the 

1 " Cum ergo hanc unitatern substantia in Patre et Filio non solum Prophetica 
sed et Evangeliea auctoritate cognoscas, quomodo dicis in Scripturis divinis 
dfMoovfftof non inveniri, quasi aliud sit ofioovcriov quam quod elicit, Ego de Patre 
exivi, et, Ego et Pater unum sumus ; vel quod propbetse ex aperto substantiam 
Dei intimabant ?" Asos. De fide ortbodoxa coutr. Ariau. c. 5. Inter Op. 
Aitbkos. torn. ii. App. col. 351, 2. 

2 " Nobis curae est, non quod unusquisque possit aut vebt, sed quid Scripture 
pneeapiant, dicere." Hieeok. Ep. ad Pammacb. contr. Jovin. ep. 48. § 15. Op. 
ed. Vallars. Venet. 1766 et seq. torn. i. col. 228. 

3 " Quando aliquid tibi oopciuui videtur in nostro opusculo, non ad mea verba 
respicias, sed ad Scripturani, unde mea tracta sunt verba." Id. ib. § 20. i. 233. 

4 " Quod nobis sanctarum Scripturarum testimoniis asserendum est, in quibus 
quotidie credentibus loquitur Deus." Id. Ep. ad Ctesipb. ep. 133. § 13. i. 1042. 

" Ne in aliquo cavilleris, et te quasi lubricus angxiis evolvas, testimoniorum 
stringcudus ee vincidis, ne querulus sibiles, et dicas, te magis argmnentatdoni- 
bus tortuosis quam Scripturarum veritate superatiun." Id. Adv. Helvid. § 14. 
ii. 221. 


" Scriptures. For the true meat and drink which is taken from 
" the word of God, is the knowledge of the Scriptures." 1 

" The error, neither of parents nor ancestors, is to be followed ; 
" but the authority of the Scriptures, and the government of God 
" as our teacher." 2 

" All the questions raised by the heretics and the heathen are 
" the same, because they do not follow the authority of the Scrip- 
11 tures, but the sense of human reason." 3 

" For all questions, let us seek for suitable beams from the 
" testimonies of the Scriptures, and cut them down, and build 
" the house of wisdom within us." 4 

A still more remarkable testimony occurs in his Comment on 
Haggai, where he thus speaks : — " The other things, also, which 
" they find and feign, of themselves, without the authority and 
11 testimonies of the Scriptures, as if by Apostolical tradition, 
" the sword of God [the word of God in the Scriptures] strikes 
" down." 5 

Again ; " They therefore err, because they know not the 
" Scriptures ; and because they are ignorant of the Scriptures, 
" they consequently know not the power of God ; that is, Christ, 
" who is the power of God, and the wisdom of God." 6 

And again, on the question, who the Zacharias, son of 
Barachias, was, who is mentioned Matt, xxiii., he says, w Some 

i tt p orro q U ; a car0 Domini verus est cibus, et sanguis ejus verus est potus, 
juxta auayuyrji/ hoc solum habemus in praesenti saeculo bonum, si vescamur carne 
ejus et cruore potemur, non solum in Mysterio sed etiam in Scripturarum lectione 
Verus enim cibus et potus, qui ex verbo Dei sumitur, scientia Scripturarum est.' 
Id. In Eccles. c. 3. iii. 413. 

2 "Nee parentum nee majorum error sequendus est; sed auctoritas Scriptura 
rum et Dei docentis imperium." Id. In Jerem. c. 9. w. 12 — 14. iv. 907. 

3 " Omnes haereticorum et gentilium qusestiones esedem sunt, quia non Scrip 
turarum auctoritatem sed huruana; rationis sensum sequuutur." Id. In Os. c 
vi. 80, 81. 

4 "Ad singula problemata, congrua de testimoniis Scripturarum ligna qua? 
rentes, praecidamus ea, et sedificemus domum sapientia? in nobis." Id. In Agg, 
c. 1. w. 7, 8. vi. 747. 

5 " Sed et alia quae absque auctoritate ct testimoniis Scripturarum, quasi fcra 
ditione Apostobca, sponte reperiunt atque confingunt, percutit gladius Dei [i. e 
sermo Dei]." Id. In Aggasum, c. 1. w. 11, 12. vi. 749. 

6 "Propterea errant, quia Scripturas nesciunt; et quia Scripturas ignorant 
consequenter nesciunt virtutem Dei, hoc est, Christum qui est Dei virtus et Dei 
sapicntia." Id. In Matth. c. 22. ver. 29. vii. 178. 


" think, that Zacharias, the father of John, is to be understood ; 
" proving it from some dreams of Apocryphal writers, that he 
" was put to death, because he preached the advent of the 
" Saviour. But this, as it has no authority from the Scriptures, 
" we are at equal liberty to despise or approve." l A passage 
which tends strongly to show, where alone he considered himself 
able to place confidence, even for such points as these. 

I add a reference below 2 to some other confirmatory pas- 

Moreover, he distinctly refers to Scripture, not only as able to 
be the Judge of controversies, and determine them, but as the 
Judge to which we ought to resort, to distinguish between true 
and false doctrines. 

" The arguments of the heretics," he says, " and through 
" them of the philosophers, may be answered by a few short sen- 
" tences of the Scriptures." 3 

" There is no argument that is so forcible, as a passage from 
" the Holy Scriptures." 4 

" We may spiritually say, when they persecute us in one city, 
" that is, in one book or testimony of the Scriptures, let us fly 
" to other cities, that is, to other books." 5 We are not to go 
to Tradition, when the heretics try to wrest passages of Scrip- 
ture from us, but to other parts of Scripture. 

Again, still more clearly ; — " Blasphemy is produced, if ... . 
" he who is in the Church and believes in God, errs in doctrines 
" which it is not lawful to be ignorant of; thinking differently 
" of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, from what the truth 

1 "Alii Zachariam patrem Joarmis intelligi volunt, ex quibnsdain apocry- 
phoruni somniis approbantes, quod propterea occisus sit, quia Salvatoris prredi- 
carit adventmn. Hoc quia de Scripturis non habet auctoritatem, eadein faci- 
litate contenmitur qua probatur." Id. In Matth. c. 23. w. 35, 6. vii. 190. 

2 See Prsef. in Expos. Isai. iv. 1, 2. In Micb. c. 7. ver. 5 — 7. vi. 520. In Naum, 
c. 3. ver. 18, 19. vi. 585, 6. In Mattb. c. 21. ver. 43. vii. 171. In Tit. c. 1. ver. 10, 
11. vii. 704. 

3 " Paucis sententiobs Scripturarum possint haereticorum et per eos philosopho- 
runi argumenta convinci." Id. Ep. ad Ctesipb. ep. 133. § 2. i. 1027. 

4 " Nihil ita percutit ut exemplum de Scripturis Sanctis." Id. In Zach. c. 10. 
ver. 15, 16. vi. 868. 

* " Spiritualiter possumus dicere; quum persequuti nos fuerint in una civitate, 
hoc est in imo Scripturarum Ubro vel testimonio, nos fugiamus ad abas civitatcs, 
id est, ad aba volumina." Id. In Matth. c. 10. ver. 23, 4. vii. 61. 


" of the matter itself requires ; not believing in the resurrection 

" of the dead, according to what the Scriptures teach 

" JVJience the Scriptures are to be read by us with all earnestness ; 
" and we should meditate in the law of the Lord day and night, 
" that, as experienced moneychangers, we may know which is good 
" money, and which bad." l A more decisive testimony to the 
point, could hardly be penned. 

Further, his testimonies to the fulness and perfection of Scrip- 
ture, are clear and distinct. " The doctrine of the Church," he 
says, " which is the house of God, may be found in the fulness 
of the divine books." 3 

" As we deny not these things that are written, so we reject 
" those things that are not written. That God was born of 
" a virgin we believe, because we read it ; that Mary married 
" after the birth, we believe not, because we read it not." 3 The 
instance, with respect to which these words were spoken, may 
show us, how comprehensive is the sense in which they were 

Again; "The Church of Christ, — which is in a nourishing 
" state, and, possessing Churches throughout the whole world, 
" is joined together by unity of spirit, and has the cities of 
" the Law, the Prophets, the Gospel, and the Apostles, — has 
" not gone out of her own borders, that is, from the Holy 
" Scriptures." 4 

Again ; " That storehouse in which are hid all the treasures of 

1 "Blasphenria. . profertur, si. . . . in Ecclesia constitutus et credens in Deum 
labatur in dogmatibus qua? ignorare non licituin est : aliter de Patre, et Filio, et 
Spiritn Sancto sentiens quarn rei ipsius Veritas habet : non ita credens in resur- 
rectione inortuorum ut Scripturse docent .... Unde omni studio legendse nobis 
Scripturae sunt, et in Lege Domini meditandum die ac nocte ; ut probati trapezitse 
sciamus, quis nunnnus probus sit, quis adulter." Id. In Epbes. c. 4. ver. 31. 
vii. 637. 

2 " Doctrina Ecclesia?, qua? domus Dei est, in libroruin reperiatur plenitudine 
divinorum." Id. Ep. ad Paulurn, ep. 30. § 6. i. 149. 

a " Ut bsec quae scripta sunt, non negamus, ita ea qua? non sunt scripta, re- 
nuimus. Natum Deum esse de Virgine credimus, quia legimus; Mariam nup- 
sisse post partum non credimus, quia non legimus." Id. Adv. Helvid. § 19. 
ii. 226, 7. 

4 " Ecclesiam [Ecclesia] autem Cbristi, qua? babitat bene, et in toto orbe eccle- 
sias possidet, [possidens, Erasing spiritus unitate conjuncta est, et babet urbes 
Legis, Propbetarum, Evangclii ct Apostoiorum, non est egressa de finibus suis, id 
est, de Scriptoria Sanctis." Id. in Mich. c. 1. ver. 10 et scq. vi. 444, 5. 


" wisdom and knowledge, [Col. ii.] is either God the Word, who 
" seems hidden in the flesh of Christ, or the Holy Scriptures, in 
" which the knowledge of the Saviour is laid up." 1 

And lastly, he tells us, that the whole doctrine, by which we 
become acquainted with God, and are not left ignorant why we 
are created, is contained in the divine books, 2 and that God 
hath made known to us by his Scriptures all the mysteries of 
religion. 3 

How all these testimonies can be explained away, I cannot 

And as to any notion of even the existence of Catholic Consent, 
we have already shown, 4 that he entertained no such idea. And 
to the passages there mentioned, we may add, that when 
speaking elsewhere of Origen, he says, — " Others also, as well 
" Greeks as Latins, have erred in the faith .... I read him 
" [Origen] as others; because he has erred like others;"' and 
hence he says, in another place, with reference to the daughter 
of the person he was addressing, after having mentioned Cy- 
prian, Athanasius, and Hilary, " The rest let her so read as 
rather to judge, than to follow them." 6 

Theophilus of Alexandria, (fl. a. 385.) 

Let us proceed to another able and excellent witness, Theo- 
philus of Alexandria. 

He tells us, that " it would be the instigation of a demoniacal 
" spirit to follow the conceits of the human mind, and to think 

1 " Thesaurus iste in quo sunt omnes thesaiiri sapientioo et sciential absconditi 
[Col. 2.] aut Deus Verbum est, qui in came Christi videtur absconditus, aut 
sanctae Scripturae, in quibus reposita est notitia Salvatoris." Ik. In Matth. 
c. 13. ver. 44. vii. 97. 

2 " Quum. . . . ratio omnis et sermo divinis libris contincatur, per quos et 
Deum discimus, et quare creati sumus, non ignoramus; miror quosdam ex- 
titisse," &c. Id. Praef. in Comni. in Ephes. vii. 537, 8. 

3 " Per Seripturos suas nobis nota fecerit universa inysteria." Id. In Ephes. 
c. 1. ver. 9. vii. 555. 

4 See pp. 13, 14. above. 

5 " Erraverunt in fide alii tain Graeci quam Latini .... Sic legam ut cactcros, 
quia sic erravit ut caeteri." Id. Ep. ad Paminach. et Ocean, ep. 84. § 8. i. 530. 

6 " Cajteros sic legat, ut magis judicet quam sequatur." Id. Ep. ad Lactam, 
ep. 107. § 12. i. 688. See also similar observations in his Ep. ad Tranquillinum, 
ep. 62. § 2. i. 352. and his Comment, in Agg. c. i. vi. 750. 


** anything divine, beyond what has the authority of the Scrip- 
tures ;" x which entirely disposes of the claims set up for Eccle- 
siastical Tradition as a divine informant. 

As to the claims of Scripture, as the sole authoritative Rule 
of faith, he speaks thus ; — 

" It is another thing if they can show, from the Scriptures, 
" that God the Word had this soul before he was born of Mary ; 
" and that it was called his soul, before his assumption of flesh. 
" But if they are compelled, both by the authority of the Scrip- 
" tures, and by reason itself, to believe that Christ had not a soul 
" before he was born of Maxy, (for, in the assumption of human 
" nature, his soul also was assumed,) they are evidently con- 
" victed of saying, that the same soul was his, and not his. 
" But let them cease, in their madness, from the impiety of these 
" new doctrines. We, following the rule of the Scriptures, will 
" proclaim, with the whole energy of our hearts, that neither his 
" flesh nor soul existed, before he was born of Mary." 2 

" Wherefore, if they wish to celebrate with the Church the 
" feast of Easter, let those who prefer the dreams of Origen to 
" the authority of the Scriptures, hear God saying, &c." 3 

" As the most impious of the heathen prefer error and custom 
" to truth, making idols after the likeness of men .... so Origen, 
" through the easiness and impiety of believers, hath let fall in 
" his works [observations that are,] as it were, temples of idols ; 
(t which we subverting by the authority of the Scriptures, and the 
" zeal [weapon] of faith, may use this similitude ; for, as masons 

1 "Daernoniaci spiritus esset instiiictus, sophisinata hiimanamm mentimn 
sequi, et aliquid extra Scripturaruni auctoritateui putare divinuru." Theophix. 
Alex. Epist. Paschal, la. § 6. in Biblioth. Vet. Patrum, ed. Galland. torn. vii. 
p. 617. 

2 "Aliud est, si possunt de Scripturis docere, antequam nasceretur ex Maria, 
habuisse banc animain Dcum Verbum, et ante carnis adsumtioneni animam illiua 
nuucupatam. Quod si et auctoritate Scripturaruni et ipsa suscipere ratione 
coguntur, Christum non habuisse animam antequam de Maria nasceretur, (in 
adsumtione enim hominis et anima ejus adsumta est,) perspicue convincuntur 
eamdem animam et illius et non illius fuisse dicere. Sed cessent illi a novorum 
dogmatum impietate furibundi. Nos Scripturarum normam sequentes, tota cordis 
audacia prffidicemus, quod nee caro illius nee anima fuerint, priusquam de Maria 
nasceretur." Id. in Epist. Paschal. 2a. § 8. cad. ed. p. 626. 

3 "Quapropter si volunt cum Ecclesia Dominicum Pascha celcbrare, qui 
auctoritati Scripturarum Origenis prreferunt deliramenta, auchant iticlamantcm 
Deum," &c. Id. in Epist. Paschal. 2a. § 19. p. 630. 


" wishing to build a house four-square, measure out walls in all 
5* respects equal, and shaping them by line and role, build what 
" they intended; and join the four equal sides by a square at 
" the angles at the top and bottom, preserving the same pro- 
" portion throughout, so that beauty of work may be united 
" with diversity of materials, and the angular lines may be 
" secured by the art with which the building is constructed ; so 
" the teachers of the Church, having the testimony of the Scrip- 
" tures, make the foundations of doctrine immoveable, and re- 
" main fearless • presenting their works to Christ, and saying, 
" ' Strengthen me in thy words.' [Ps. cxxviii. 28.] ' n 

Again ; — " As the helmsmen of great ships, when they see an 
" immense wave coming from the deep, as hunters with a fierce 
" wild beast, meet the foaming billows, and bear up against 
" them, by opposing to them the prow, turning the rudders in 

" the opposite direction so they who have a regard 

" for their own safety, imitate this example, and using the revela- 
" tion of the divine words as a rudder, meet the tempest and the 
" waves of heretics, the law of God serving them in the place of 
" skill ; that those who had fallen may be raised, those who 
" stand may stand firm, and all together may be preserved by 
" the aid of its doctrine. For what the rudder is to the 


1 " Sieut ethuicomm iiupiissinii erroreni et cousuetudinem praeferunt veritati, 
fabricantes in boniinum similitudinein idola. . . . ita Origenes facilitate et impietate 
credentiuin, quasi delubra idolorum, tractatuum suorum nioninientis demisit, quae 
nos auctoritate Scriptm-armn et zelo [? telo] fidei subvertentes, utamur ilia simili- 
tudine : ut enim csenientarii quadram voleutes a;difieare domum, a?quales ex oniui 
parte parietes metiuntur, eosque nomia et perpendiculo dirigentes quod aninio 
depiuxerint opere exstruunt; et ejusdeui raensui-a; per quadruni latera quatuor 
jungunt aiigulis sursuin ac deorsum, ca?ptam eeqoalrtatem paullatLmque incrementa 
servautes, ut uiateriae cbversitateru jungat operis pulcritudo, et angulares Uneas 
artifex strucrura eustodiat ; sic ecclesise praeceptores, babentes testimouia Scrip- 
tivrarum, tiruia doctimse faciunt fundauienta, et intrepidi permanent, ofl'ereutes 
opera sua Cbristo, atque dicentes, ' Coufirma uie in verbis tuis.' " [Ps. 128. 28.] 
Id. in Epist. Pascbal. 3a. § 13. p. 637. 

; " Sicut enhn gubernatores magnarum naviuin, cuni viderint hnniensum ex 
alto venire gurgitem, quasi venatores ferocisshnam bestiam, spumantes fluctus 
sviscipimit, eosque prorae objectione sustentant, Bectentee in diversuin gubernacula 

qui sui curam gerant, imitantiu 1 exempli similitudinem. et divinorum 

dispensatione verborum quasi gubernaculo utentes, occiurunt lnneticorum tem- 
pestati et nuctibus, legem Dei pro arte retineutes, ut qui cormorant, suscitentur ; 


Rufinus. (fl. a. 390.) 

Rufinus, after enumerating the canonical books of the Old 
and New Testament, adds these words, " These are the books 
" which the Fathers have included within the canon ; and out 
" of these they intended that the articles of our faith should be 
"framed." 1 

And a little further on he tells us, that in these alone is to be 
found the word of God, knowing nothing of Tradition as another 
divine informant. " It appeared fit," he says, " to point out in 
" this place these things which have been delivered to us by our 
" Fathers, for the instruction of those who are receiving the 
" first principles of the Church and faith, that they may know 
" what are the sources out of which they may draw for them- 
" selves the word of God." 3 

Augustine, (fl. a. 396.) 

The next Father to whom we would direct the reader's atten- 
tion, is the celebrated Augustine, whose testimony, as it respects 
points of faith, is without exception wholly with us. 

" Against ensnaring errors," he says, " God was pleased to lay 
" down a firm support in the Scriptures ; against which no one 
" dares to speak, who at all desires to appear a Christian." 3 

" Let our writings be put out of sight ; let the book of God 
" be brought forward ; hear Christ's words, hear the truth 
" speaking," referring to - Luke xxiv. 47. 4 

qui stant, firmo perseverent gradu, et omnes in commune doctrinae opitulatione 
serventur. Quod enim gubernatori clavus, hoc animo est lex Dei." Id. in Epist. 
Paschal. 3a. § 14. pp. 637, 8. 

1 " Hsec sunt [i. e. volumina] quae Patrcs intra Canonem concluserunt, ex 
quibus fidei nostra assertiones constare voluerunt." Rufini Expos. Symb. Art. 
ult. ; ed. ad calc. Op. Ctpbiani ed. Fell. Oxon. 1682. p. 26. (ed. Col. 1617. p. 319.) 

2 " Hose nobis a Patribus tradita opportunum visum est hoc in loco designare, 
ad instructionem eorum qui prima sibi Ecclesise ac fidei elementa suscipiunt, ut 
sciant, ex quibus sibi fontibus verbi Dei haurienda sint pocula." Id. ib. p. 27. 
(p. 320.) 

3 "Contra insidiosos errores Deus voluit ponere firmamentum in Scripturis, 
contra quas nullus audet loqui, qui quoquo modo se vult videri Christianuni." 
Ar/GUST. In Ep. Johann. tract. 2. § 1. Op. ed. Beued. Par. 1679 et seq. torn. 
iii. part. 2. col. 836. 

4 " Auferantur de medio chartae nostras, procedat in medium codex Dei ; audi 
Christum dicentem, audi veritatem loquentem." [Luc. 24. 47.] Id. Enarr. in 
Ps. 57. ver. 4. § 6. iv. 545. 


" As the night extinguishes not the stars in heaven, so ini- 
" quity overcomes not the minds of the faithful, while cleaving 
" to the firm foundation of God's Scripture/' 1 

" Since, therefore, in every question that concerns life and 
" manners, not doctrine only, but exhortation also is necessary, 
" that by doctrine we may know what is to be done, and by ex- 
" hortation we may be roused to action, lest we should be slow 
" to do what we know ought to be done, what can I teach you 
" more than that which we read in the Apostle. For the holy 
" Scripture fixes the rule of our doctrine, that we should not pre- 
" sume to be wise beyond what we ought to be ; but, as he says, 
" let us be wise soberly, as God hath given to each the measure 
" of faith. Therefore I desire not otherwise to teach you, than 
" to expound to you the words of the teacher ; and from them 
" to discuss what the Lord has given.''' 2 

" The Lord, having spoken, first by the prophets, then by 
" himself, afterwards by the Apostles, as much as he judged 
"to be sufficient, formed also the Scripture, which is called 
" Canonical, to be of pre-eminent authority, in which we place 
" our faith, as it respects those things which it is not expedient 
" for us to be ignorant of, and which we are not sufficient of 
" ourselves to obtain the knowledge of." 3 

" The city of God believes also the Holy Scriptures of the 
" Old and New Testament, which we call Canonical; whence 
" that faith itself takes its rise, by which the just lives ; and by 
" which we walk without hesitation, as long as we are absent 

1 " Sicut stellas in coelo non extinguit nox, sic mentes fidelium inbrerentes fir- 
mamento Scriptural Dei non vincit iniquitas." Id. Enarr. in Ps. 94-. § 29. iv. 

2 "Cum igitur in omni qua:stione qua? ad vitam moresque pertinet, non sola 
doctrina verum etiam exhortatio sit necessaria, ut doctrina quid agendum sit 
noveriinus, exhortatione autem excitemur, ne pigeat agere, quod agendum esse 
jam novimus, quid ego amplius te doceam, quam id quod apud Apostolum 
legimus ? Sancta enim Scriptura nostra? doctrinse regulam figit, ne audeamus 
sapere plus quam oportet sapere ; sed sapiamus, ut ipse ait, [Rom. xii. 3.] ad 
temperantiam, sicut unicuiquc Deus partitus est mensuram fidei. Non sit 
ergo mibi aliud te docere, nisi verba tibi doctoris exponere, et de iis quod 
Dominus dederit disputare." Id. De bono viduit. c. 1. vi. 369, 370. 

3 " Hie prius per propbetas, deinde per seipsum, postea per Apostolos, quan- 
tum satis esse judicavit, locutus, etiam Scriptmam condidit, qua' tain mien 
nominatur, emincntissimso auctoritatis, cui fidem baliemus de bis rebus (puis 
ignorare non cxjiecbt, nee per nosmetipsos nosse idonei siunus." Id. De civ. 
Dei, lib. 11. c. 3. vii. 273. 


" from the Lord ; and which being preserved safe and secure, 
" we may, without just blame, doubt concerning some things 
" which we have not perceived by sense or reason, and which 
" have not been clearly manifested to us by the Canonical 
" Scripture, nor come under our knowledge by witnesses whom 
" we cannot, without absurdity, disbelieve.-" l 

u Being about to speak of the day of God's last judgment . . 
" we ought first to place, as the foundation of the edifice, the 
" divine testimonies." 3 

Again, in his controversy with Maximums the Arian, he says, — 
"But now neither ought I to produce the Council of Nice, (or, 
" Nicsea) nor you that of Ariminum, as if we could thus deter- 
" mine the question beforehand. Neither am I held by the 
" authority of the one, nor you by the authority of the other. 
" Let the points, and causes, and reasons on both sides contend 
" against each other, with authorities of the Scriptures, wit- 
" nesses not belonging exclusively to either of us, but common 
" to both." 3 H By which words," as the Tractators' own wit- 
ness, Bishop Taylor, remarks, " if St. Austin's affirmative can 
" prevail, it is certain that nothing ought to be pretended for argu- 
" ment but Scripture, in matters of religion. For, if a general 
" Council, which is the best witness of Tradition, the best ex- 
" pounder of Scripture, the best determiner of a question, is not 
" a competent measure of determination, then certainly nothing 
" else can pretend to it, nothing but Scripture. And if it be 
" replied, .that this is only affirmed by him, in case that two 

1 " Credit etiarn [i. e. Civitas Dei] Scripturis Sanctis et veteribus et novis, 
quas canonicas appellamus, unde fides ipsa coneepta est, ex qua Justus vivit ; 
per quam sine dubitatione anibulamus, quamdiu peregrinainur a Domino ; qua salva 
atque certa, de quibusdam rebus, quas neque sensu neque ratione percepimus, 
neque nobis per Scripturam eanonicam claruerunt, nee per testes quibus non cre- 
dere absurdum est, in nostrani notitiam per\'enerunt, sine justa reprebensione 
dubitanius." Id. De civ. Dei, Ub. 19. c. 18. vii. 562. 

2 " De die ultimi judicii Dei locuturi .... taniquam in aedificii fundamento 
prius ponere testimonia divina debemus." Id De civ. Dei, lib. 20. c. 1. vii. 

3 " Sed nunc nee ego Xicamum, nee tu debes Ariminense, taniquam pnvju- 
dicaturus, proferre Concibum. Xec ego bujus auctoritate, nee tu illius deti- 
neris : Scripturarum auctoritatibus, non quorumque proprii.-, Bed atrisqae cuin- 
munibus testibus, res cum re, caussa com csbobbo, ratio cum ratione concertet." 
Id. Contr. ilaximin. Arian. lib. 2. c. 14. viii. 7ul. 


" Councils are, or seem contrary, I answer, that if Councils can 
" be, or seem contrary j so that wise and good men cannot com- 
" petently insist upon their testimony, it is certain a man may 
" be deceived, or cannot justly be determined, by any topic but 
" the words and consequences of Scripture ; and if this be the 
" only probation, then it is sufficient, that is certain . . . That 
" which I intend to persuade by these testimonies is, that the 
" Fathers of the Primitive Church did, in all their mysterious 
" inquiries of religion, in all matters of faith and manners, admit 
" no argument, but what was derived from Scripture/' l 

Again ; " Let us not produce deceitful balances, where we 
" may weigh out what we like, and how we like, saying, as we 
" please, This is heavy, this is light ; but let us produce the 
" divine balance from the Holy Scriptures, as from the Lord's 
" treasures ; and in it let us weigh out and prove what may be 
" heavy, or rather let us not ourselves weigh it out, but ackuow- 
" ledge what has been weighed out by the Lord." 2 

So to the Donatists he says, — " Read this to us from the Law, 
" from the Prophets, from the Psalms, from the Gospel itself, 
" from the Apostolical writings ; read it, and we believe." — " Let 
" them read this to us from the Holy Scriptures, and we be- 
" lieve." — The Holy Scriptures are " the proofs, the founda- 
u tions, the supports of our cause." 3 

And, " according to these [i. e. the books of the Prophets 
" and Apostles]," he says, "we may freely judge of other wri- 
" tings, either of the faithful, or of unbelievers .... That which 
" agrees with the authority of the divine Scriptures in the wri- 
" tings of Cyprian, I accept to his praise ; that which does not 
" so agree, I reject without any offence to him." i 

1 Bp. Tayxoe's Rule of Consc. ii. 3. 14. "Works, xiii. 101, 2. 

2 " Xon afferamus stateras dolosas, ubi appendants quod volunius, et quo- 
modo volunius, pro arbitrio nostro dicentes, Hoe grave, hoe leve est : sed atFe- 
ramus divinam stateram de Seripriuns Sanctis tamquam de thesauris Dominicis, 
et in ilia quid sit gravius appendanius, hnmo non appendamus, sed a Domino 
appensa recognoscamus." Id. De bapt. contr. Donat. lib. 2. e. 6. ix. 101. 

3 " Legite nobis hoc de Lege, de Prophetis, de Psalmis, de ipso Evangeho, 
de Apostolicis litteris ; legite et cmlimus." Id. Ep. ad Cathol. rulijo De 
unit. Eccles. c. 6. ix. 345. " Hoc nobis legant de Scriptiu-is Sanctis, et credimus." 
lb. c. 17. col. 368. " Ha?c siuit caussae nostrse docuuienta, ha?c fundamenta, 
heec finnamenta." II). c. 19. col. 373. 

4 " Secundum quos [i. e. Prophetarum et Apostolorum lihros] <le ceteris 


" Where we are disputing on a very obscure point, in which 
" we have not certain and clear proofs from the Divine Scrip- 
" tures to aid us, human presumption ought to restrain itself, 
" doing nothing by leaning to one side." l 

" Although I should not be able to refute their arguments, I 
" see, nevertheless, that I must cleave close to those things that 
" are most manifest in the Scriptures, that from these the ob- 
" scure may be cleared." 3 

And he says that he considered himself perfectly free to judge 
for himself in the writings of any men whatsoever of the Catho- 
lics themselves, inasmuch as he owed unreserved consent only 
to the canonical Scriptures. 3 

Further ; Scripture is a complete and perfect Rule according 
to Augustine. 

" Whatever Christ wished us to read of his deeds and words, 
" this he directed his Apostles to write, as it were, with their 
" own hands." 4 

" The Lord Jesus having done many things, they are not all 
" written, as the same St. John the Evangelist testifies, that the 
" Lord Christ said and did many things that are not written ; 
" but those were chosen for writing, which appeared to be suffi- 
" cient for the salvation of those who should believe." 5 

litteris vol fidelium vel infideliuin libere jndicemus Quod in eis 

[i. e. litteris Cypriani] divinarum Scripturarum auctoritati congruit, cum laudc 
ejus accipio, quod autem nou congruit, cum pace ejus respuo." Id. Contr. Cresc. 
Donat. lib. 2. cc. 31, 32. ix. 430. 

1 " Ubi de re obscui-issima disputativr, non adjuvantibus divinarum Scriptu- 
rarum certis clarisque documentis, cobibere se debet bumana prsesmntio, nihil 
faciens in partem alteram dcclinando." Id. De peccat. merit, et remiss, c. 36. 
x. 70. See also lib. iii. c. 10. ib. col. 80. 

2 " Ego etsi refeUere istorum argunienta non valeam, video tamen inhajren- 
dum esse iis qua? in Scripturis sunt apertissuna, ut ex his revelentur obscura." 
Id. De peccat. merit, et remiss, lib. in. c. 4. x. 74. 

3 " Maxime quoniam me in hujusmodi quorumlibet hominum [i. e. calholi- 
rori'rii tractatorum] scriptis liberum, quia solis canonicis debeo sine ulla re- 
cusatione consensum, niliil movet quod de illius scriptis, cujus nomen non ibi 
inveni, ille posuit." Id. De nat. et grat. contra Pelag. c. 61. x. 158. 

4 " Qaidqrdd ille [Clnnstus] de suis factis et dictis nos legere voluit, boc scri- 
bendum illis [Apostolis] tamquam suis manibus imporavit.'' Id. De consens. 
Evangel. li!>. i. c. 35. iii. part. 2. col. 26. 

5 " Cum multa fecisset Dominus Jesus, non omnia scripta sunt, dent idem 
ipse sanctus Johannes Evangi-lista testatur, multa Dominum Christum et dixisse 



" He hath appointed the authors of the Divine Scriptures to 
" be the mountains of Israel. There feed, that you may feed with 
" safety. Whatever ye shall hear from thence, let it be accept- 
" able to you ; whatever is not in them, reject. ,n 

" In the divine Scripture is contained the Christian eru- 
dition." 2 

Nay more; " In those things that are laid down 
" plainly in Scripture, are found all those things that 
" contain faith and manners of life;" 3 where Bellarmine 
admits, that his words apply to those things that are simply 
necessary to all, naming the Creed and the Commandments, 
hoping thereby to leave room for his "Traditions;" 4 but there 
is no such limitation in the words of Augustine ; and if there 
were, they would include several points for which both Ro- 
manists and Tractators send us to " Tradition ;" as, for instance, 
the con substantiality of the Son with the Father ; a doctrine, 
indeed, which, as we have already seen, 5 Augustine considers to 
be only equivalent to what is expressed in so many words in 

Once more, he says, — " Either with respect to Christ or his 
" Church, or anything else whatever that pertains to your faith 
" or life, I will not say, 'We,' because we are by no means to 
" be compared with him who said, f Although we ;' but certainly 
" I will say what he has followed it up with ; If an angel from 
" heaven shall have preached to you anything beyond what ye 
" have received in the Scriptures of the Lavj and the Gospel, let 
" him be anathema." 6 

et fecisse qua? scripta non sunt ; electa sunt autem qu?e scriberentur qua? saluti 
credentials sufficere videbantur." Id. In Johann. Evang. c. 11. Tract. 49. § 1. 
iii. part 2. col. 619. 

1 " Constituit montes Israel auctores Scripturarum divinarmn. Ibi pascite, 
ut secure pascatis. Quidquid hide audieritis, hoc vobis bene sapiat ; quidquid 
extra est, respuite." Id. Serm. de Pastor, serin. 46, c. 11. v. 238. 

2 " Scriptura divhia, qua Christiana eruditio contmetur." Id. De civ. Dei, 
lib. 9. c. 5. vii. 222. 

3 " In iis qua? aperte in Scripturis posita sunt, inveniuntur ilia omnia qua? 
continent fideni moresque vivendi." Id. De doctr. Cliristian. hb. 2. c. 9. iii. 
part. 1. col. 21. 

4 Bellaem. De verb. Dei, hb. 4. c. 11. 

s Aitgcst. In Job. Evang. c. 16. tract. 97. § 4. iii. part. 2. col. 738. See vol. ii. 
p. 185 above. 
6 " Proinde sive de Christo, sive de ejus Ecclesia, sive de quacumque alia re qua? 


To this passage, the only reply that Bellarmine can make is, 
that the word prater, beyond or besides, here means contra, 
against ; " a novelty," as Bishop Taylor says, " taken up with- 
" out reason, but not without great need •" adding, " That St. 
" Austin did not mean only to reprove them that introduced 
" into faith and manners such things which were against Scrip- 
" ture, but such which were besides it, and whatsoever was not 
" in it, is plain by an established doctrine of his, affirming that 
" ' all things which appertain to life and doctrine, are found in 
" those things which are plainly set down in the Scriptures.' " l 

We conclude, therefore, in the words of the same learned Pre- 
late, that, " By St. Austin's doctrine the Scripture hath enough 
" for every one, and in all cases of necessary religion ; and much 
" more than what is necessary ; nay, there is nothing besides it 
" that can come into our rule." 3 

Moreover, the Holy Scripture is continually referred to by 
Augustine, as the Supreme Judge of controversies. 

This is sufficiently apparent from the passages already ad- 
duced ; especially that from his book against Maximinus the 
Arian, where he puts aside even the Council of Nice, and con- 
stitutes Scripture the sole Judge of the controversy. But there 
are many other similar testimonies in his writings. 

Thus, in the controversy with the Pelagians as to the guilt of 
infants, he says, — " That controversy requires a judge. There- 
fore let Christ judge," proceeding to quote Matt. xxvi. 28; and 
" with him let the Apostle judge," proceeding to quote Rom. 
viii. 33. 3 

pertinet ad fidern vitamque vestram, non dicam nos, nequaquam comparandi ci 
qui dixit, Licet si nos, sed omuino quod secutus adjecit, Si angelus de ccelo vobis 
annuntiaverit prseterquam quod in Scripturis legalibus et evangelicis accepistis, 
anathema sit." Id. Contr. litt. Petil. lib. 8. c. 6. ix. 301. See also Epist. 
ad Madaur. ep. 232. § 3. ii. 843. "Omnia quae prseteritis temporibus," &c. A 
similar passage occurs in the Serm. 38, ad fratr. in Erem. torn. vi. App. 
col. 345. " Legite sanct. Script.," &c. j but this discourse is by many reckoned 

1 Bp. Taylob's Dissuas. Pt. 2. Bk. 1. § 2. Works x. 410. See also ib. pp. 

2 Ib. p. 411. 

3 " Immo parvuli quomodo rei non sunt, pro quibufl Christus mortuus est ? 
Ista controversia judicem quserit. Judicet ergo Christus, et cui rei mors ejus 
profecerit, ipse dicat. Hie est, inquit, sanguis incus, &c. [Matt. 26. 28. ] Judicet 

M 2 


And in the controversy with the Pelagians on grace and 
free-will, he says, " Let the Apostle John sit as judge be- 
tween us." 1 

And in his controversy with the Donatists, he invariably 
appeals to Scripture as the sole Judge fit to decide which was 
the true Church. 

" One who is weak inquires for the Church ; one who is in 
" error inquires for the Church. What do you say ? The 
" Church is on the side of Donatus. I seek the voice of the 
" Shepherd. Head this to me from a Prophet, read it to me 
" from a Psalm ; recite it to me from the Law, recite it from the 
" Gospel, recite it from an Apostle .... I do not believe your de- 
" clarations ; I would not that you should believe mine. Let 
" human writings be taken away ; let the divine words be heard. 
" Give me one word of Scripture in favor of Donatus." 2 

Again ; " Whether we are schismatics or you, neither should 
" I nor you be interrogated ; but let Christ be asked, that he may 
" show his own Church. Read therefore the Gospel, &c." 3 

Again, " Let us not hear, You say this, I say that ; but let 
" us hear, Thus saith the Lord. There are the Dominical books, 
" whose authority we both acknowledge, we both yield to, we 
" both obey ; there let us seek the Church, there let us discuss 

" the question between us Therefore let those testimonies 

" which we mutually bring against each other, from any other 
" quarter than the divine canonical books, be put out of sight. 
" . . . . I would not have the holy Church demonstrated by 

cum illo et Apostolus, &c. [Koin. viii. 32]. August. De nupt. et concup. lib. 2. 
c. 33. x. 331. 

1 " Sedeat ergo inter nos judex apostolus Johannes, et dicat nobis, Carissimi, 
diligamus invicem." Id. De grat. et lib. arb. c 18. x. 737. 

2 " Quaerit infirmus Ecclesiam, quserit errans Ecclesiam. Tu quid dicis ? Partis 
Donati est Ecclesia. Ego vocem Pastoris inquire Lege hoc niihi de Propheta, 
lege mihi de Psalmo, recita mihi de Lege, recita de Evangelio, recita de Apostolo 

Xon credo tuisj noli credere meis. Auferantur chartse humanse, sonent 

voces divinee. Ede inilii uiiam Bcripturae vocem pro parte Donati." Id. Serm. 
de Pastor, serm. 46. c. 14. v. 242. A similar passage occurs in his Enarr. in 
Ps. 69. § 6. iv. 715. " Si ergo quseris," &c. 

3 " Utrum autem Bchismatici nos ramus an vos, nee ego nee tu, sed Christ us 
interrogetur, ut indicet Ecclesiam suam. Lege ergo Evangolium," &.c. Id. Contra 
litt. PetaL lib. 2.c. 8. ix. 271. 


1 human testimonies, but by the divine oracles We adhere 

' to this Church ; against those divine declarations we admit no 
f human cavils .... Let no one say to me, What hath Donatus 
' said, what hath Parmenian said, or Pontius, or any of them. 
' For we must not allow even Catholic bishops, if at any time, 
' perchance, they are in error, to hold any opinion contrary to 
' the Canonical Scriptures of God .... All such matters, there- 
' fore, being put out of sight, let them show their Church, if 
' they can ; not in the discourses and reports of Africans, not 
' in the councils of their own bishops, not in the writings of 
1 any controversialists, not in fallacious signs and miracles, for 
1 even against these we are rendered by the word of the Lord 
' prepared and cautious, but in the ordinances of the Law, in 
' the predictions of the Prophets, in the songs of the Psalms, 
' in the words of the very Shepherd himself, in the preachings 
and labours of the Evangelists, that is in all the canonical 
authorities of the sacred books. Nor so as to collect together 
and rehearse those things that are spoken obscurely, or am- 
biguously, or figuratively, such as each can interpret as he likes, 
according to his own views. Por such testimonies cannot be 
rightly understood and expounded, unless those things that are 

most clearly spoken, are first held by a firm faith We 

ought to find the Church, as the Head of the Church, in the 
Holy Canonical Scriptures, not to inquire for it in the various 
reports, and opinions, and deeds, and words, and visions of 
men .... Whether they [i. e. the Donatists] hold the Church, 
they must show by the canonical books of the Divine Scriptures 
alone ; for we do not say that we must be believed because we 
are in the Church of Christ, because Optatus of Milevi, or 
Ambrose of Milan, or innumerable other bishops of our com- 
munion, commended that Church to which we belong; or 
because it is extolled by the councils of our colleagues, or 
because through the whole world, in the holy places which 
those of our communion frequent, such wonderful answers to 
prayer or cures happen .... Whatever things of this kind 
take place in the Catholic Church, are therefore to be ap- 
proved of, because they take place in the Catholic Church ; 
but it is not proved to be the Catholic Church, because these 

166 THE doctrine' of the fathers 

" things happen in it. The Lord Jesus himself, when he had 

" risen from the dead judged that his disciples were to be 

" convinced by the testimonies of the Law, and the Prophets, 
" and the Psalms .... These are the proofs, these the founda- 
" tions, these the supports of our cause. We read, in the Acts 
" of the Apostles, of some who believed, that they searched the 
" Scriptures daily whether those things were so. What Scrip- 
" tures, but the Canonical Scriptures of the Law and the 
" Prophets ? To these have been added the Gospels, the 
" Apostolical Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, the Apocalypse 
" of John .... But if they do not choose to understand, it is 
" sufficient for us that we adhere to that Church which is 
" demonstrated by such extremely clear testimonies of the Holy 
" and Canonical Scriptures." 1 

Augustine did not dream of supposing, that, because his ad- 
versaries might not be convinced by the testimonies brought, 
therefore Scripture was not a very sufficient Judge of the con- 
troversy, or that such testimonies must be doubtful and ob- 

1 " Non audiamus, Hsec dicis, haec dico ; sed audiamus, Ha?c dicit Dominus. 
Sunt certe libri Dominici, quorum auctoritati utrique consentimus, utrique 
cedimus, utrique servinius; ibi quseramus Ecclesiam, ibi discutianms caussam 

nostrain Auferantur ergo ilia de medio, quae adversus nos inviceni non 

ex divinis canonicis libris sed aliunde recitamus Nolo humanis documentis, 

sed di\inis oraculis sanctam Ecclesiam demonstrari. (c. 3) Nos hanc Eccle- 
siam tenemus, contra istas divinas voces nullas humanas criminationes admittimus 

Nemo mild dicat, quid dixit Donatus, quid dixit Parnienianus, aut 

Pontius, aut quilibet illorum. Quia nee catkolicis Episcopis consentiendum est, 
sicubi forte falluntur, ut contra canonicas Dei scripturas aliquid sentiant. (c. 11-) 

Kemotis ergo omnibus talibus ecclesiam suam demonstrent si possunt, non 

in sermonibus et rumoribus Afrorum, non in conciliis episcopormn suorum, non in 
litteris quorumlibet disputatorum, non in signis et prodigiis fallacibus, quia etiam 
contra ista verbo Domini praeparati et cauti redditi sumus; sed in praescripto 
Legis, in Prophetarum praedictis, in Psalmorum cantibus, in ipsius unius Pastoris 
vocibus, in Evangelistarum praedicationibus et laboribus, boc est, in omnibus 
canonicis sanctorum librorum auctoritatibus. Nee ita, ut ea eolligant et comme- 
morent, qua? obscure vel ambigue vel figurato dicta simt, quae quisque, sicut 
voluerit, intei-pretetur secundum sensum suum. Talia enim recte intelligi expo- 
nique nou possunt, nisi prius ea quae apertisshne dicta sunt, firma fide teneantur. 

(c. 18.) Ecclesiam sicut ipsuni Caput in Scripturis Sanctis canonicis debemus 

agnoscere, non in variis bominum rumoribus et opinionibus et factis et dictis et visis 

inquirers Utrum ipsi Ecclesiam teneant, &c. (as above, vol. ii. p. 342.) 

Quod si nolunt intelligere, sufneit nobis quod earn tenemus Ecclesiam, quae mani- 
festissimis sanctarum et canonicarum Scriptiu'arum testimoniis demonstratur." Id. 
Ep. ad Cathol. vuhj. De unit. Eccles. cc. 3, 11, 18, 19, 22. ix. col. 340—380. 


scure. Notwithstanding their refusal to be convinced, he holds 
those testimonies to be abundantly clear and demonstrative ; as 
he says elsewhere, " The Holy Scripture demonstrates the 
Church, without any ambiguity." 1 

Lastly, That he was altogether opposed to the notion of the 
Tractators, that Consent of Fathers forms part of the Rule of 
faith, we have already shown ; but I will here add some further 
extracts in proof of it. 

Thus, in the latter part of the Letter to Jerome, already 
quoted, he says, after alluding to the Fathers, " But instead of 
" all these, nay, above all these, the Apostle Paul himself occurs 
" to me. To him I betake myself; to him I appeal from all 
" interpreters of his writings, who think differently," &c. 3 

Again ; " If it is established by the clear authority of the 
" divine Scriptures, those I mean that are called Canonical in 
" the Church, it is to be believed without any doubt. But 
" other witnesses or testimonies which are used to persuade you to 
" believe anything, you may believe or not, just as you shall see 
" that they have or have not any weight giving them a just claim 
11 to your confidence." 3 

Again, after having referred to the Fathers, and quoted Am- 
brose, Jerome, and Athanasius in favor of the view he was advo- 
cating, against a dissentient from it, he says, that he refers to 
them, in order that his opponent may see, that the question 
deserved a calm and serious discussion, adding, — " For we ought 
" not to esteem the statements of any persons, however catholic, 
" and of whatever repute, as the Canonical Scriptures ; so that 
" it may not be lawful for us, without infringing upon the 

1 " Ecclesiam sine ulla anibiguitate Sancta Scriptura demonstrat." Id. 

Contra Crescon. Donat. lib. 1. c. 33. ix. 407, 8. 

2 " Veruntarnen ipse mihi pro bis omnibus, immo supra hos omnes, Apostolus 
Paulus occurrit. Ad ipsuin confugio ; ad ipsuni ab omnibus qui aliud sentiunt 
btterarum ejus tract atoribus provoco; ipsum interrogans interpello et requiro 
in eo quod scripsit ad Galatas, vidisse so Petrurn," &c. Id. Ep. ad Hieron. ep. 
82. c. 3. ii. 199. 

3 " Si divinarum Scripturarum, earum scibcet quse canonicae in Eeclesia nomi- 
nantur, perspicua fu-matur auctoritate, sine ulla dubitatione credendum est. 
Ahis vuro testibus vel testimonhs, quibus aliquid credendum esse suadetur, tibi 
credere vel non credere liceat, quantum ea momenti ad faciendum fidem vel 
habere vel non habere perpenderis." Id. Ad Paulin. ep. 147. Proem, ii. 475. 

168 THE doctrine' of" the fathers 

" honor due to those men, to blame and reject this or that in 
" their writings, if perchance we shall have found that they 
" have been of a different opinion from what truth requires ; 
" truth as understood, by divine aid, either by others, or by our- 
" selves. Such is my feeling when reading the writings of 
" others, and such I wish to be the views of others when con- 
" sidering the meaning of mine." 1 

Again, in -his controversy with the Man ichees, after observ- 
ing in defence of his belonging to the Catholic Church, that the 
true wisdom was to be found in it, he savs, that there were also 
many other inducements to him to remain in it, as " the consent 
" of various people and nations, its authority, taking its rise 
" from miracles, nourished by hope, increased by charity, 
" established by antiquity, the succession of priests, up to the 
" present episcopate, from the very chair of the Apostle Peter, 
" to whom the Lord committed his sheep to be fed after his 
" resurrection, the very name of Catholic;" and that among the 
Manichees there were no inducements of this kind, but only the 
promise of the truth ; but, adds Augustine, " if the truth is so 
" clearly manifested that it cannot be doubted of, it is to be 
(< preferred to all those inducements to remain in the Catholic 
" Church." 2 

Again, speaking of the ecclesiastical writers subsequent to the 
Apostles, he says, — " Which kind of literature is to be read, not 
" with a necessity of believing, but with a liberty of judging of 

1 " Xeque enini quoruinlibet disputationes, quamvis catholicorurn et laudatorum 
honiinuin, velut Scripturas canonicas habere debenius, ut nobis non liceat, salva 
houorificentia quae illis debetur hoininibus, aliquid in eoruin scriptis hnprobarc 
atqoe respuere, si forte invenerimus quod alitor senserint quain Veritas habet, 
divino adjutorio vel ab aliis intellecta vel a nobis. Talis ego sum in scriptis 
aliorum, tales volo esse intellectores meorum." Id. Ad Fortunat. ep. 14S. 
c. i. ii. 502. 

2 " ^Iidta sunt aba quae hi ejus greinio me justissime teneant. Tenet con- 
teDBD popidorum atque gentium : tenet auctoritas niiraculis hiehoata, spe nutrita, 
caritate aucta, vetustate firmata ; tenet ab ipsa sede Petri Apostoli, cui pascendas 
ores suas post resurrectionem Dominus commenda\-it usque ad prsesentem ejiisco- 

patum successio sacerdotum; tenet postremo ipsmn Catholices nomen Apod 

VOB autem, ubi nihil horum est quod me invitet ac teneat, sola personat veritutis 
polheitatio ; qua 3 ipiiclem si tain maiui'esta monstratur ut in dubium venire non 
jwssit, praeponenda est omnibus ilhs rebus quibus in Catliulica teueor." Id. Contr. 
grist. Manich. quam voc. Fimdam. c. 1. viii, 153. 


"it ... . the excellence of the canonical authority of the Old 
" and New Testament is different from the books of later writers, 
" which being established in the times of the Apostles has, 
" through the succession of bishops and the propagation of 
" churches, been placed as it were on high in a seat of authority, 
" to which every faithful and pious mind ought to be in sub- 

" jection But in the works of later writers, which are con- 

" tained in innumerable books, but by no means are equal to that 
" most sacred excellence of the Canonical Scriptures, even in 
" those of them in which the same truth is found, yet the 
" authority is far different. Therefore, in them, if any matters 
" should perchance be thought to be not agreeable to the truth, 
" from their being understood differently from the sense in 
" which they are spoken, yet the reader or hearer has in such a 
" case an unfettered right of judgment to approve what shall 
" please him or disapprove what shall offend him ; and there- 
" fore as to all things of this kind [i. e. that may be advanced 
" by these writers] , unless they may be defended either by sure 
" grounds of reason, or from that canonical authority, so that it 
" may be demonstrated that what is there discussed or narrated 
" either certainly is, or might be, as there represented, he who 
" is not satisfied with what is said, or refuses to believe it, is not 
" blamed. But in that canonical pre-eminence of the Sacred 
" Scriptures, although only one Prophet, or Apostle, or Evan- 
" gelist, is declared to have laid down any point in his writings, 
" supposing it to have in reality the testimony of the Canon in 
" its favor, we must not doubt of its truth ; otherwise there will 
" be no writing by which the infirmity of human ignorance maybe 
" ruled, if the salutary authority of the canonical books is either 
" wholly destroyed through contempt, or confounded by being 
" extended beyond its limits [i. e. when that authority is extended 
" to other works.] >n 

1 " Quod genus litterarum non cuui credeudi necessitate, sed cum judicandi 
libertate legenduni. Cui tamen ne intercluderetur locus, et adimeretur posteris 
ad cniaestiones difficiles tractaudas atque versaudas linguae ac stili saluberrimus 
labor, distincta est a posteriorum libris excellentia canonicse auctoritatis veteris et 
novi Testamenti, quae Apostolorum confirmata temporibus per successioncs Epis- 
coporum et propagationes Ecclesiaruni tamqtiam in sede quadain sublimiter 
constituta est, cui serviat omnis tidelis et pius intcllectus In opusculis autem 


I ask the impartial reader, Is it possible that Augustine could 
have spoken thus, if he had held that the consent of these writers 
formed part, — and through the obscurity of Scripture a neces- 
sary part, — of the Rule of faith ? 

Again, when the Donatists objected to him the statements of 
Cyprian, and of the Council held under him, he says, — " But 
" who is ignorant, that the Holy Canonical Scripture of the 
" Old and New Testament is limited to certain bounds, and is so 
" far above all the later writings of bishops, that of it it cannot 
" be doubted or disputed, whether it is true or right, whatsoever 
" shall appear to be written in it ; but that, as to the writings of 
" bishops ivhich either have been written or are being written 
"since the confirmation of the Canon, they may be found fault 
" with, both by the wiser discourse of any one more skilful in 
" the matter, and by the weightier authority and more learned 
" wisdom of other bishops, and by councils ; and that local and 
" provincial councils yield without any doubt to the authority 
" of those plenary councils that are assembled together from the 
" whole Christian world; and that as to those very oscu- 


" later, when experience opens what was closed, and brings 
" to light that which was hidden, without any swellings of 
" sacrilegious pride, without any exaltation of the neck of arro- 
" gance, without any envious contentions, with holy humility, 
" with catholic peace, with Christian charity." l 

posteriorum, quae libris innunierabibbus continentur, sed nullo modo illae sacra- 
tissimae canonicarum Scripturanmi exceUentiae coaequantur, etiam in quibuscumque 
eorum invenitur eadem Veritas, longe tamen est impac auctoritas. Itaque in eis, 
si qua forte propterea dissonare putantur a vero, quia non ut dicta sunt intelb- 
guutur, tamen liberuua ibi babet lector auditorve judiciiun, quo vel approbet quod 
placuerit, vel kuprobet quod oflenderit ; et ideo cuncta ejusmodi, nisi vel oerta 
ratiune vel ex ilia canonica autboritate defendantur, ut demonstretur sive onnnno 
ita esse, sive fieri potuisse quod vel disputatum ibi est, vel narratum, si cui 
displieuerit, aut credere noluerit, non reprebenditur. In ilia vero canonica emi- 
nentia sacrarum litterarum etiamsi unus Propbeta, seu Apostolus aut Evangebsta 
abquid in suis Htteris posuisse ipsa canonis confirmatione declaratur, non beet 
dubitare quod verum sit : aboquin nulla erit pagina, qua bumanae iuiperitise 
regatur infirmitas, si bbronun canonicoruni saluberrima aiictoritas aut contemta 
penitua aboletur aut interminata confunditiu*." Id. Contra Faust, bb. xi. c. 5. 
viii. 221, 2. 

1 " Quis auteui nesciat, sanctam Scripturain canonicam, tam veteris quara novi 


Lastly, in reply to the Pelagians, on the important doctrine 
of original sin, after having proved his view of the point in 
question from the Holy Scriptures, he says, — " But what shall I 
'■* say of those interpreters of the divine Scriptures who have 
" flourished in the Catholic Church, how they have not at- 
" tempted to turn these testimonies to other senses, since they 
" stood firm in the antient and sound faith, and were not moved 
" by novel error. If I should wish to collect them, and make use 
" of their testimonies, it will be both too long a task, and I shall 


So far is he from giving to those writers the place demanded 
for them by the Tractators. 

Before I pass on, I have only to remai-k, that as it respects 
matters of faith, I know of no testimonies that can be produced 
from Augustine that even give the least semblance of support to 
the views of our opponents. The reader will consider, whether 
the passages we have already adduced do not forbid the suppo- 
sition, that any real support for their views could be found in 
him. His sentiments as it respects the Rule of practice we 
shall consider in the next Section of this Chapter. 

Testamenti, certis suis terminis contineri, eamque omnibus posterioribus episco- 
porum litteris ita praeponi, ut de ilia oinnino dubitari et disceptari non possit, 
utrum verum vel utrum rectum sit, quidquid in ea scriptum esse constiterit : episeo- 
porum autem litteras qua? post confirmatum eanonem vel scripta? sunt vel 
scribuntur, et per sermonem forte sapientiorem cujuslibet in ea re peritioris, 
et per aliorum episcoporum graviorem auctoritatem doctioremque pruden- 
tiam, et per concilia, licere reprebendi, si quid in eis forte a veritate deviatum 
est ; et ipsa concilia quae per singulas regiones vel provincias fiunt, plenariorum 
conciliorum auctoritati qusc fiunt ex universo orbe Cbristiano sine ullis ambagi- 
bus cedere ; ipsaque plenaria sa?pe priora posterioribus emendari, cum aliquo expe- 
rimento rerum aperitur quod clausum erat, et cognoscitur quod latebat, sine ullo 
typho sacrilegse superbise, sine ulla inflata cervice arrogantise, sine ulla contentione 
livida; invidiae, cum sancta bumilitate, cum pace catholica, cum caritate Cliristiana. 
Id. De bapt. contr. Donat. lib. ii. c. 3. ix. 98. 

1 " Quid autem dicam de ipsis divinarum Scripturarum tractatoribus qui in 
catholica Ecclesia floruerunt, quomodo haec non ha alios sensus conati simt 
vertere, quoniam stabiles erant in antiquissima et robustissima fide, non autem 
novitio movebantur errore. Quos si colligere et eorum testimonhs uti veliin, 
et nimis longum erit, et do canonicis auctoritatibus, a quibus non debemus 
averti, minus fortasse videbor prcesumsisse quam debui." lv. De nupt. et concun. 
lib. ii. c. 29. x. 328. 


Chrysostom. (fl. a. 398.) 

From Augustine let us pass on to the equally celebrated 
Chrysostom. " Let us, I beseech you/' says Chrysostom, 
" shut our ears against all such persons, and follow closely the 
"Rule (or, Canon) of the Holy Scripture." 1 

Again, anticipating the objection of a Pagan to become a 
Christian, on account of the multitude of sects among Christians, 
he says, — " A Pagan comes and says, 1 1 desire to be a Christian, 
" but I know not to whom to attach myself. There is much 
" contention and division among you, and much confusion. 
" What doctrine shall I choose ? "Which shall I prefer ? Each 
" one says, I speak the truth. Whom am I to believe, having 
" no knowledge at all in the Scriptures ? And they both pro- 
" duce the same [testimony] .' This, at least, is altogether in 
" our favor. For, if we said, that you must believe our reason- 
" ings, you might with reason be troubled ; but if we say, that 
" you must believe the Scriptures, and they are simple and true, 
" it is easy fur you to judge. If any one receives these, he is a 
" Christian ; if any one opposes them, he is far from the pale of 
" Christianity. What, therefore, if he should come and say 
fr that the Scripture says this or that, but thou speakest dif- 
" ferently ; and ye have interpreted them in quite another way, 
" distorting their meaning. Tell me, then, have you neither 
" understanding nor judgment? 'And how could 1/ he says, 
" ' not knowing how to judge your matters ? I desire to be a 
" scholar ; but you make me already a master.' If he should 
" say this, what shall we answer ? — how shall we persuade him ? 
" Let us ask him if all this is not a mere excuse and 
" pretence." And then, having added some further obser- 
vations on the marks by which he might discern the true 
Church, he adds, — " But this is an excuse and pretence. 5 '- 

1 YlapanaAii), iracrt tois toiovtois ras aKoas airoreixicrai'Tes, t<£ ko.v6vi ttjs ayias 
ypcupijs KaraKoKovd-hawiJicv. Chbysostomi in Genes, horn. xiii. § 3. Op. ed. Bened. 
Paris. 1718 et seq. torn. iv. p. 103. 

- * , EpxeTat c/ EA.\7;j', nal Aeya, on j8ouA.ojuai yeviaQai XpianavSs- a\\' ouk olSa 
t'ivi Trpoa8w[ fJ-dx 7 ! wa p' fy*'*' toWi] xai cnacTis' ttoAvs Qopvfios' iroiov hAo/iai 
Soy fj.a ; tI alpT] ; iKaaros Atyei, on £ya> a\7)6evw rlvi ireio~0w, fxrjSey bAws 
flSws if tcl?s ypacpais ; KaKtivoi to avro irpojidWovTar irdvvye tovto virep t)ixwv. 
ei jxlv yap \oyt0/u.o7s iAzyofxev ireiOeadai, eikJtcoj £$opvfiov el 5t rah ypa<pa?s 


Again, commenting on 2 Tim. v. 16, 17. " All Scripture is 
"given by inspiration of God; and is profitable for doctrine, 
" for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 
" that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished 
" unto all good works," he says, — " ' For doctrine.' If there 
" is anything which it behoves us to learn or be ignorant of, 
" thence we shall know it. If it behoves us to reprove false 
" doctrine, thence also we shall know it. If we need to be cor- 
" rected and taught wisdom. For exhortation, for comfort, for 
" correction, he says. That is if anything is deficient, and 
" needs to be added. ' That the man of God may be perfect.' 
" He says that the exhortations of Scripture were given for 
" this purpose ; ' that the man of God may be perfect '. . . . 
" Instead of me, he says, you have the Scriptures. If you are 
" desirous of learning anything, you will be able to do so from 
" them. And if he wrote these things to Timothy, who was 
" full of the Holy Spirit, how much more to us ? ( Thoroughly 
" furnished to all good works.' Not simply a partaker, he says, 
" but thoroughly and accurately furnished." x 

And in his Commentary on the fifth Psalm, he speaks of the 
Scriptures as Christ's Will, giving an account of the heavenly 
inheritance, and how it is to be obtained, observing, that "when 
" we shall have arrived at perfect manhood, and the measure of 
" our age, and passed to that life which is without change, he 

\eyop.ev wwTeveiv, olvtcu 5e awAcu Kal aAydels, evKoKou croi rb Kpw6p.evov eX ris 
eKeivais (Tu/x<paii/e7, ovtos Xpicrriayos- eX ris //a^eTou, ovtos ir6fipw tov Kav6vos 
tovtov. Ti oiv av eKelvos e\6wi> €1(7177, tovto ex el " T, V yp a< f>h"i o~b 8e eTepov 
\eyrjs, Kal a\Aws irapetyyrjo-Oe ras ypacpas ras Siavoias avTwv eXKovTes ; crb ovv 
elire /uoi, vovv ovk exei-S, ov ^ Kpicriv ; Kal ttws av SvyaifiTfu, (prjffl, /j.rj5e elSus 
Kpiveiv to. v/xerepa; ixa8r)Ti}s j3ov\o/ yevecrdaf orb 5e p.e tjStj StSdffKaXov 
iroiels' av TavTaXeyri, ti, (pi}o~iv, aTTOKpivu/xeOa ; ttois avrbv ireio'o/j.ev ; epwTy\ff(j>p.ev , 

el p.}] (TKr/ipts tovtol Kal irp6(pacris aXXa o-Krjif/ts tovto Kal irpotpaffis. Id. In 

Act. Apost. horn. 33. § 4. ix. 258, 9. 

1 npbs SidaffKaXiav eX ti piadeiv, eX tj ayvoricrai XPV, eKe76sv elo-6p.e9a- el i\ey£ai 
to. ifei/5/j, Kal tovto eKe?dev el eiravopQuiQijvai Kal auHppovio-drivai. npbs\t\(Tiv, 
irpbs irapa,uvdtav, <pr]o~l, irpbs eiravdpQuxnv TOVTeaTt, eX ti Xeiirei, Kal XPV Tpo<r- 
TeOrjvac "va aprios fj 6 tov Qeov livdpuiros 81a. tovto (priori, yiyovev 77 tu>v ypa<pa>v 

irapa.K\rio-is, 'iva &pTios 77 6 tov Qeov &vOpuiros o.vt ifiov, (prim, tos ypa<pas 

6X«is - eX tj fiovAei p.a0e7v, eKelOev 5vvr)o-rf el Be TifioBecp toutce eypacpe tjjj irvev- 
p.aTos ep.ireirAricrp.evcp, irSffcp fxaWov r)puv ; irpbs iruv epyov ayadbv e^ripTicr/xevos- 
obx an\S>s /uerex^f, <pi]a\v, aWa /ner' &Kpi(ieias 4^T]pTio-/xevos. Id. In 2 Tim. 

v. 16, 17. hom. 9. § 1. xi. 71 I. 15. 


" will then put us in possession of that inheritance. But in the 
" mean time he has made a Will and left us the Scriptures, and 
" told us what to do, in order to obtain the inheritance ; so that we 
" may not fail to obtain it, nor be disinherited." 1 

Other passages may be found in works going under the name 
of Chrysostom, to the same effect ; but I shall not here dwell 
upon them, as they are of doubtful genuineness. 2 

Moreover, he bears witness to the completeness and perfec- 
tion of Scripture as the Rule of faith. For he says that we have 
in the Scriptures " an exact measure, and index, and rule of all 
things;" adding, "Wherefore I exhort and beseech all of you, 
" that, giving up all consideration as to what this or that person 
" thinks concerning these things, you would consult the Scrip- 
" tures respecting all these things ; and having learnt the true 
" riches, let us follow after these things, that we may obtain 
" eternal blessings." 3 

And by " rule/'' he means that which receives neither addition 
nor diminution, as far as it is a rule ; for he tells us, that " a 
" rule receives neither addition nor diminution, otherwise it 
" ceases to be a rule." 4 

Again, he says, — "Look not for another master ; thou hast the 
" oracles of God; no one teaches thee like them .... Ignorance 
" of the Scriptures is the cause of all evils." 5 

1 'ETreiSav els &vSpa riheiov Kal fierpov TjAiKias KaTavTTjaooixev., Kal irpbs rbv 
a.K7\parov /J.tra(TTU>iJ.ev fiiov, r6re r)ixiv e'7x € 'P'C €I T ^ v Kkrjpov iKelvov. Ttois 5« 
SieOero, Kal ra ypd^fiara 7]p.7v KareAnre, Kal rlva irpaTTOvres hrtreu£6fie&a t?)s 
K\ripovo)xias tlirev, ILart (li) iKirsauv, /u.r)Se a.noK\7ipou6iJ.ovs yeveadai. Id. Expos, 
in Ps. 5. § 1. v. 29. 

2 See Homil. de Spir. S. § 10. iii. 808. This homily is considered hy 
Photius a genuine work of Chrysostoru ; and by Savile the production of some 
learned contemporary of Chrysostom. See also Homil. in Ps. 95. prope fin. 
v. 636. This homily, however, is probably spurious. 

3 Ylws yap ovk &tottov. . . . inrep ■Kpayfj.a/rwv ^n)<pi^ofjL(vovs, airAws raTs krepoiv 
■jrapacrvpeadai 86£ais' Kal raura aKpL0rj £vybv airavrocv exovras, Kal yvw/xova, Kal 
Kav6va, twv Ofioiv v6fioov r))v ajrutyaffiv ; Sib TrapaKaAoo Kal Seo/Uai irdvrwv v/xiZv, 
a<pei/res rl t<£ Suvi Kal rep Selvi Sokc? irtpl tovtoov, napa, tS>v ypacpuiv ravra 
a-Kavra itvvOdvea&e, Kal rbv a.Ai)dr) ttXovtov ixad6vres, tovtwv SiaKcc/Aev, Iva Kal 
twv alooviow €TnTvxoifj.ey ayadecv. Id. In 2 Cor. bom. 13. Jin. x. 536, 537. 

4 'O Kavuv ovre irpdaOecriv otire acpaipecrii/ 8e'x eTa '> ^nel rb Kavwv elvai an6\- 
Avffi. Id. In Phil. horn. 12. § 2. xi. 293. 

5 MtjSs irepi/xflvr/s 'inpov SiSdcrKaAoir tx ets T " ASyta rov ®eov' ovlitis ere 8i- 
SdaKfi ws eKUi/a. . . . rovro ivdvruiv aXriov ruv KaiiSiv, rb /J.h, tidtvai ras ypaipas. 
Id. In Coloss. bom. 9. § 1. xi. 391. 


And in a work, which, if it be not Chrysostom's, has been so 
spoken of by Romanists themselves, as to make it require 
no defence here, as a work of equal value as if it was — I mean, 
the " Imperfect work on Matthew" 1 — it is said, on the words, 
" All things are ready, come unto the marriage," — " Whatever 
" is requisite for salvation, that is all fully to be found in the 
" Scriptures ... In this feast there is nothing less than what 
" is necessary to the salvation of men." 2 

I add below a reference to some other passages, which the 
reader may consult on this point. 3 

And with respect to the doctrine of the consubstantiality of 
the Son with the Father, he distinctly speaks of it as being 
clearly and fully delivered in Scripture. 1 

So clear, indeed, is his testimony on this whole subject, that 
even the Romanist Du Pin says, — " St. Chrysostom looks upon 
" the Holy Scripture as the ground and rule of all the truths of 
" religion."* 

Further, Chrysostom distinctly places Scripture before us as 
our proper guide to direct us in controversies of faith. 

Thus, commenting on John x. 1, " He that entereth not by 
" the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, 

1 Thus, Erasmus says, that though not Chrysostom's, it was the work " ho- 
minis eruditi et facundi et in divinis Uteris sic exercitati ut mea quidem sen- 
tentia hac in parte non eedat Chrysostomo." Bellarmine says, " credibile esse 
authorem fuisse catholicum," and calls it a work " doctuni et niinime sper- 
nendum." (De Script. Eccles. ad aim. 398.) Sixtus Senensis says, that it 
was " tot saeculis communi Ecclesise assensu comprobatum," and adduces many 
reasons for supposing it to be a genuine work of Chrysostoni ; to which opinion 
he himself is evidently inclined ; though he says that the opinions of critics are 
diverse on the subject. (See his Bibl. Sanct.) The two latter, however, hold it 
to have been mt«rpolated by heretics. 

- " Quidquid quseritur ad salutem, totum jam adimpletum est in Scripturis. 
.... Nihil minus est in hoc convivio quam quod necessarium habet salus humana." 
Opus Imperf. in Matth. hom. 41. vi. clxxiv. App. 

3 See Comment, in Act. hom. 29. § 4. ix. 231. Comment, in Heb. hom. 8. 
§ 4. xii. 89. Also in the homily De Spir. S., written, as Savile supposes, by 
some learned contemporary of Chrysostom, it is said, — h. ov y4y pairrai, ov 5e? 
typoveiv. torn. iii. p. 798. And in the homily De Pseudo-Prophetis, which, 
however, the Benedictines reckon spurious, OvSiu tXtiircv, ov5e irapecrietrmj(re 
tw (Mficpepoi'Tuiv rifjiiv rj Beta ypaipr}. viii. App. 73. 

4 See his Homil. de Consubstant. § 2. torn. i. pp. 502, 3. 
s Du Prs's Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p. 320. Dublin edit. 


" the same is a thief and a robber ; " be says, " Observe 
" the marks of the thief ; first, that he enters not with confi- 
" dence; secondly, that he enters not by the Scriptures, — for this 
" is the meaning of not entering by the door. And he here 
" alludes to both those who were before him, and those who 
" were to come after him ; both antichrist and false Christs ; 
" both Judas and Theudas, and all others of the same kind. 
" But he very properly called the Scriptures the door, for they 
" lead us to God, and open to us the knowledge of divine things ; 
" they make the sheep ; they guard them, and suffer not the wolves 
" privily to enter in. For as a secure door, so they prevent the 
" entrance of heretics, affording us a place of safety for all things 
" we could desire, and not suffering us to wander ; and if we 
" do not open it, we shall not be easily taken captive by our 
" enemies. By it ice shall know in all cases both those that are 
" sheep, and those that are not." 1 

And lastly, the reader will not fail to recollect the remarkable 
passage quoted in a previous page 2 from the " Imperfect work 
on Matthew," the author of which, speaking of the times of 
Antichrist, says, that " at that time there can be no proof of 
" true Christianity, nor any other refuge for Christians, wishing 
" to know the true faith, but the divine Scriptures," and no 
way " to ascertain which is the true Church of Christ, but only 
through the Scriptures ;" because those who followed Anti- 
christ, would have all the external appearances of the Christian 
Church as to Churches, the Scriptures, bishops, &c. ; and that 
" the Lord, knowing that such a confusion of things would take 
" place in the last days, commands, on that account, that the 

' Opa ra Seiy fxara rov Kycrrov' irpwrov, on ov irapprjala. elaepx^rar Sevrepov, 
tin ov Kara ras ypa<pas, rovro yap ecrri rb fj.)] Sta tt)s Qvpas' ivravda Se Kal robs 
irpb avrov aivirrerai, Kal robs tier' avrbv iao/xevovs 1 r6v re a.yrixp'O'rov, Kal robs 
Tpevdoxpio'rnvs' r6v re lovBaf Kal QevSav, Kal elf rives erepoi rotovrot yeySvaatv. 
EiKorcos Se Qvpav ras ypa(pas eKa\effev aurai yap rjfxas irpoffdyoucri rqi ®ew, Kal 
rr\v Beoyvoiaiav avoiyouaiv abrai Trp6&ara ■kowvciv avrat (pvKarrovffi, Kal robs 
Avkovs ovk acpiaati/ eireicrehQelv. KaBdirep yap ris Ovpa aff<pa\))s, ovrccs airo- 
K\eiet rois alperiKois rhv elffoSop, ev aff<pa\elq Kadiarc!>aa rj/ ivepl wv au Bov- 
Aa>/u.e9a iravrwv, Kal ovk ewffa TrXavaaOac Kq,v fill ■napaKvo'wixev avrifv, ovk £o~6/xe6a 
evxc-ipwroi rois ex^pols. Aia ravrrjs Kal robs irotfj.epas ical robs ov iroiixevas 
eio-Afxtda airavras. Id. In Johnnn. lioin. 59. (al. 58.) § 2. viii. 346. 
2 See above vol. ii. pp. 342, 343. 


" Christians who are in Christianity, and desirous of availing 
" themselves of the strength of the true faith, should betake 
" themselves to nothing else but the Scriptures. Otherwise if 
" they shall look to other things, they shall stumble and perish, 
" not understanding which is the true Church. And, through 
" this, they shall fall upon the abomination of desolation, which 
" standeth in the holy places of the Church." T 

Antichrist, let us observe, would use the same divine Scrip- 
tures ; but, notwithstanding that, the only safe guide to those 
who wished to know the true faith and the true Church, would 
be those very Scriptures ; so little did he think, that, because 
Antichrist perverted and misused them, therefore they were not 
fit and sufficient to sit as judge upon his claims and errors, and 
decide the controversy between truth and falsehood. 

What, then, does Bellarmine, who acknowledges the value of 
the book itself, say to this ? Why, forsooth, all these remarks 
are the interpolation of some Arian heretic ! Upon which 
Bishop Tavlor observes, " Bellarmine very learnedly says (De 
" V. D. iv. 11.), that these words were put into this book by 
" the Arians, but because he offers at no pretence of reason 
" for any such interpolation, and it being without cause to 
<c suspect it, though the author of it had been an Arian, because 
" the Arians were never noted to differ from the Church in the 
" point of the Scripture's sufficiency, I look upon this as a pitiful 
" shift of a man that resolved to say anything rather than con- 
" fess his error."" 

And in the same way Sextus Senensis would get rid of the 
passage previously quoted from this work, 3 as well as others. 
But, says Bishop Taylor, " When they cannot show, by any 
" probable argument, that any heretics have interpolated these 
" words, and that these are so agreeing to other vwrds of St. 
" Chrysostom, spoken in his unquestioned works, he shows himself 
" and his party greatly pinched ; and for no other reason rejects 

1 lb. 

2 Bp. Tatxoe's Dissuas. from Popery, Pt. 2. Works, vol. x. p. 405. And see 
his Rule of Conscience, bk, 2, c. 3. rule 14. Works, xiii. 103, 4. And Bp. 
Morton's Cath. App. pp. 313, 314. 

3 See p. 175 above. 



" the words, but because they make against hioi ; which is a 
" plain self- conviction and self-condemnation." l 

There are two passages, however, connected with this subject, 
in the works of Chrysostom, which require explanation. 

The first is in his Commentary on the Second Epistle to 
the Thessalonians, where, explaining the w r ords, "Therefore, 
" brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have 
" received, whether by word or our epistle" (ii. 15.), he says, — > 
" Hence it is evident, that they [the Apostles] did not deliver 
( ' all things by letter, but many things also orally ; but both the 
" one and the other are equally worthy of belief ; let us, then, 
" esteem also the Tradition of the Church to be w T orthy of 
" belief; it is a Tradition; seek no further." 3 

But, to know the mind of Chrysostom, this passage must be 
compared with others in him upon the same subject ; and when 
we consider it in connexion w r ith those which we have quoted 
above, it seems evident, that these oral traditions, to which 
Chrysostom refers, were not points of faith, but rites and 
customs of the Church ; for, as to the former, he distinctly sends 
us to Scripture as our Rule, and a perfect Rule. As it respects 
the latter, I willingly admit, that he and other Fathers of the 
Chui'ch held, that many of the rites and customs of the Church, 
not mentioned in Scripture, might be considered as having been 
derived from Apostolical ordinance or sanction ; and that as it 
concerned those which the Church used and celebrated under 
that name, it was desirable and proper for individuals to rest 
satisfied, and not trouble the Church by curious inquiries into 
the matter ; a judgment which, when restrained within its 
proper bounds, has good grounds to rest upon. 

And thus speaks the Tractators' owm witness, Bishop Morton, 
on the passage, — " If by these words, ' as worthy of credit/ be 
" meant the traditions ceremonial, in this sense we must believe, 
" certainly, that the ceremonies ordained by the Apostles were 
" just and lawful, albeit (as even our adversaries do teach) 

1 Bp. Taylor's Diss, from Popery, Pt. 2. Works, x. 405. 

ILvrcvdev StjAov Sti ov iravra Si' eV«<rro\7js TrapeSiSocray, a\\a iroWa xal 
aypa<p(i)s- <5/*o<a>y §e Kqiteiva Kal ravrd 1<ttiv a^iSiriffrd' Siare xal tt)v wapdSocrtv 
ttjs EKKXrj&ias a£wiri<TTov rjyufaBa- TrapaScxrls iffrt, fnjSiv ir\4ov ^ Te< - ^°- I n 
2 Thess. ii. 15. hom. 4. § 2. xi. 532. 


" alterable : so this sentence doth not differ from the profession 
" of Protestants. But if the Romanists will have it understood 
" of doctrinal points of faith, which are absolutely necessary 
" unto salvation, as though some such article were not recorded 
" in Scriptures, then was it not unjustly to be censured a speech 
" unfitting the golden mouth of Chrysostome ; because so S. 
" Chrysostome should contradict himself in many places, not 
" only of his supposed works, as hath been showed, in so plain 
" sort justifying our defence of only Scripture, that their Church 
" hath, therefore, in their new editions of Chiysostome, wiped 
a that sentence out, [alluding to the Opus Imp. in Matth.] ; 
" but also in his unquestionable works, yea, even in his Homily 
" next going before the objected testimony, where, exhorting 
c< all men to be exercised in reading the Scriptures, f All things,' 
" saith he, ' which are necessary, are manifest 5 . . . . [he proceeds 
" to quote the Exposition on Ps. 95, which I omit as doubtful] 
" . . . . For the which cause he calleth the sacred Scriptures 
" (In 2 Cor. horn. 13.) ' A most exact balance, square, and rule 
" of divine laws. 5 Wherein Chrysostome is irreconcileably 
" contrary unto the ltomanists, who, for the defence of unwritten 
" traditions, do esteem of Scripture, not as of a most exact, but 
" only as of a part of a rule of faith.'" l 

The other passage occurs in his Commentary on the Epistle 
to the Philippians, and stands thus, — "These things were not 
" vainly instituted by the Apostles, namely, that at the celebra- 
" tion of the tremendous mysteries [i. e. the Eucharist] a re- 
" membrance should be made of the departed." 2 

But here the tradition spoken of is clearly a mere custom, 
namely, that a remembrance should be made of the departed 
at the celebration of the Eucharist ; and such a remembrance 
may be made (as it is in our own Service) without its involving 
any doctrine of any kind whatsoever ; and the words with 
which Chrysostom follows up the remark, namely, " they 
knew that much gain and much profit would hence accrue 

1 Bp. IIoetox's Cath. App. ii. 25. 4. p. 315. 

3 Oi/K ej'/cj? ravra ivoixoQ(Tr)di) virb twv ai:o(Tr6\a>v, rb eirl rS>v typiKTUv /ii/cmj- 
piwv lirfinw yivicrdai tuv b.Trt\96vTwv. Id. In Phil. i. 24. Horn. 3. § 4. xi. 217. 

N 2 


to thein,'' 1 contain merely an expression of Chrysostom's own 
sentiments as to the good to be expected from such a remem- 
brance of them. 

I will only add, that if our opponents wish to avail them- 
selves of this last remark, as showing that Chrysostom held 
their views in another point, they had better first read the 
whole homily; for they will find, that it not only advocates 
our praying for the faithful, but for the dead generally, including 
expressly those who have died impenitent and unbelievers, to 
whom he thinks that our prayers may bring some benefit. 2 

Before I pass on, however, I must notice a passage quoted 
by the author of Tract 34 from the works of Chrysostom, and 
which forms another striking instance how little the Tractatoi-s' 
extracts from the Fathers are to be depended upon. The pas- 
sage, as given by the Tractator, is this, — " He who is duly 
" strengthened in faith, does not go so far as to require reason 
" and cause for what is enjoined, but is satisfied with the tradi- 
" Hon alone." The italics are the Tractator's. This passage he 
quotes as his motto ; and then proceeds, in his Tract, to incul- 
cate the necessity of observing certain rites and customs of the 
early Church as Apostolical traditions. Now this is a direct 
misapplication of the words of Chrysostom, which no reader, who 
had attended to the context, could have made. The words of 
Chrysostom are these. They are on those words of the Apostle, 
" I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, 
and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you." (1 Cor. 
xi. 2.) And he says, — " Therefore he then delivered many 
" things not in writing, which also he frequently elsewhere 
" states ; but he then delivered them only, but now he gives the 
" reason. For thus he rendered these his hearers more confi- 
" dent, and put down the haughtiness of those who opposed 
" them. He proceeds not to say, ye have obeyed, but others 
" have disobeyed ; but indirectly, through the instruction he 
" gives, he hints this in what follows, speaking thus,— 'I would 
" have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the 

Icracriv avTois troXv icepSos yiv6/j.evoy, iroWrjv t),v axptKeiav. lb. 
- KAaioijUej' ovv tovtovs, ^or]du<fxev avro7s Kara Swafxiv, iirivori<ra>fjL€i> avrols 
riva $or)deiav, fUKpav f.iiv, fSoriBtiv Si ofxus Svvatx4vr\v. lb. Alld gee the whole 
of § 4. pp.216— IF. 


" head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.* 
" Here the reason is given. And he gives this, that he may 
" make the weaker more attentive. The faithful and confirmed 
" [disciple] therefore, as is right, needs neither reason nor 
" cause for the things that may be commanded, but is satisfied 
" with the delivery alone. But the weak, when he knows also 
" the cause, then holds what was said with greater earnestness, 
" and obeys with greater alacrity." 1 

I need not add one word to show the reader, how completely 
the passage quoted by the Tractator has been perverted by him 
from its true meaning. 

Cyril of Alexandria, (fl. a. 412.) 

I proceed to Cyril of Alexandria. 

" That which the divine Scripture hath not spoken, how," he 
asks, "shall we receive it, and reckon it among verities V 2 

Again, commenting on 1 Cor. i. 21., he says, — " By the 
t( foolishness of preaching he means the plainness of the phra- 
" seology of the inspired Scripture. Therefore, leaving off toil- 
" ing in vain and reaping no fruit, and enduring to spend your 
n labors upon things that are unprofitable, hear me rather, 
" and eat that which is good, namely, through the Evangelical 
" proclamations, in which, saith he, your soul would abundantly 
" delight, and be nourished. There is the true knowledge of 
" God as he is, and instruction as to all virtue and propriety of 
" conduct, becoming saints; and wisdom, such as with won- 

1 *Apa Kal aypdcpccs iroWa TrapeSiSov rSrt, h Kal aWaxov 7roAAa^oD Sr)\o7. 'AA\a 
t6t€ /j.€v TrapedtoKt fLovov, vvv 5e k al aWioKoyiav riQricriv. Ovrw yap Kal tovtovs icrxv- 
porfpovs tivoUi tovs atcoiovras, Kal (Kiivuiv Karimra to <pvo-7i/j.a ruv ivavTiovuivaiv. 
Elra ov Ktya otl vfxtls ixkv vin]KOvo~aTe, erepoi 5e irapriKovcrav, aWa awir6irro!S 
e/c T7)j 5tSatrKa\tar ai>Tb alfimTai 5ia twv e£7)s, ovtu \4ywv 8tK(c 5e ei'Sepai, 
k. r. K. 'H ixtv alrioXoyia avrr\. Tidr]<ri 5e avrr)v, tovs aaBeveffTtpovs irpocrtK- 
TiKUTtpovs iroiuiv. 'O \x\v oZv iriffrbs, &S XPV> Ka ^ ^pp^^vos oi;5i Set-rat \6yov 
ovSi atVtas, virep Civ av tirtTaxQfi, aX\' ap/ceTrat rrj wapaSocret fi.6vr). 'O 5e arrdt- 
veo~Ttpo$, htav Kal t\\v alrlav fJ-dOri, Tore Kal /xtra ir\fiovos rrjs anovSris Kartx* 1 
to Ktx^ (V t Kal M €Ta toWtjs vTraKovet rijs irpoBvpias. Id. In 1 Cor. hom. 26. § 1. 
x. 228, 9. 

- O yap ovk etprjKev r] 8tia ypa<pr;, Tiva 8tj Tpvirov vapaSe^ofJieBa, Kal iv ro7s 
a\T)9ws «x 0l " r ' KaTa\oytovfj.(6a; Cykill. Alex. GlapLvr. in Qenes. lib. ii. 
Op. cd. Aubert. Lutet. 1G38. torn, i. Pt. i. p. 29. 


" derful exactness rightly discerns everything that ought to be 
" done, and perfectly fits the mind for activity in good works." 1 
Again ; " We teach in the Churches, adducing the doctrines 
" taught in the inspired Scripture, bringing the Evangelical and 
" Apostolical word before our hearers as a kind of heavenly 

" food." 2 

Again, in his Third Dialogue respecting the Holy Trinity, 
one of the speakers observes, " To whom that is wise, is it not 
" evident, that you, O my friend, will adduce vain words to us, 
" and heap up a cold and useless mass of notions, unless you 
" should prove to us, that the volumes of the sacred writers 
" agree with what you have spoken ? For we shall not follow 
" those who desire and are accustomed to speak from their own 
"imaginations alone, but those who speak from the mouth of the 
" Lord, according to that which is written ;" to which the other 
speaker replies, " You speak rightly. Therefore the divine David 
declared," &c. 3 

Mwptav 5e rod Ktjpvy/xaros rr]V KOtvSrrjra rrjs Ae|eoij rrjs ivovffrjs rij deo- 
irvfVffTcv ypacpjj, (prjffiv. 'A(pevres oZv rb e'tKrj iroveTv, Kal aKaprriav ffvAAtyeiv, Kal 
Sarravav ave^iaOai tt6vovs irr' avwcpeAecri Trpa.yfj.affi, fxaAAov aKovffare ixov, Kal 
(payeffde ayada, ra Sia rail' evayyeAiKwv Kr)piry/j.aru>v SrjAovSri, ois Srj Kal rrepir- 
rus, (prjfflv, £vrpv(pT)ffeiev r) tpvxv v/J-aiv exe! yvwffis aArjBijs rov Kara (pvfftv Qeov, 
Kal aperrjs arracrr)s, Kal ayioirpsirovs evKOff/j.las /J.d87]/J.a, Kal ffvvtais, Bavfxaarus 
(Kacrra ruv rxpaKTtuiv opBios SiaKp'ivovra, iSiaKplvovffa] Kal nx ViTr i v ets o-ya6ovp- 
yiav aTToreXovffa rov vovv, k. r. A. Id. Comment, in Is. lib. v. torn. ii. Op. torn. ii. 
p. 774 

AiSafficofj.€v yap £v eKKArjcriais ra Sia. rrjs Beorrvei/ffrov ypa(prjs rrapaKofii^ovres 
5oy/j.ara, Kai wcnrep riva. rpocp)]v rrvevjj.ariKr]v rov evayyeAiKOV re Kal wnoffroAiKbv 
rraparidevres Aoyov. Id. Comment, in Johann. Ev. lib. vi. Op. torn. iv. p. 638. 

3 A. Kal rivi rSiv eS (ppovovvrwv acrviupavts, &is UKaiovs rjfuv, & (piAorrjs, errav- 
rArjfffts A6yovs, \f/vxpav Se Kal a\xpt]ffrov ivvoiuiv imffoipevffds ttAtjOvv, ei fxi] 
ffvvrrxovo~as ois e(pr]s ras rZv ayiwv r^fxiv irridel^ais <rvyypa<pas ; (\p6ix(8a yap ovxl 
rots fdeKovfft re Kal tlcudSffi ra. dirt) fj.6vris rrjs ffcp&v avrwv iptvyeffdai Siavoias, 
aAAa ro7s AaAovffiv artb ffrofiaros Kvpiov, Kara rb yfypafi/xevov. B. E6 Ae'-yeis' 
ovkovv 6 fxev 6e?os, (prifflv, vfxvrjffe rrov Aa(3\S, k. r. A. Id. De S. Trin. Dial. 3. torn. 
v. P. 1. p. 477. The phrase rQv ayicov is frequently used by Cyril for the in- 
spired writers. As, — *H ov SterrvOov rwv aylaiv fifup avaKeKpay6ra>v mpl ®eov, rrr) 
fj-fv, Sri els iffriv 6 vo/io6erris Kal Kpiry^s, rrfj 5e av, o /j.6vos %x wv a.8avaffiau ; Dial. 3. 
ib. p. 476. And again ; B. "*Apa av tx o,s ****o< e/c Ta ~" / l*p<0>v ypafifxarcov 
■tis av yevoiro rS>v rowvrwv r) irlffris ; A. Kairoi fipaxvs ko/j.i8t) 8aTrav7]8r)fffrai 
tt6vos, ffvvayelpovri ffoi ras rwv ayiwv <pwvds. 'EQfffiots pcv yap iirtffrcAAwv 6 
UavAos, k. r. A. Dial. 6. ib. p. 603. Another instance occurs in the passage 
next but one to this below. And so when drawing a distinction between the 
Old and New Testament writers, he calls the former roiv apx^ortpoiv ayluv. 
Dial. 7. ib. p. 642. The phrase might perhaps be taken from 2 Pet. i. 21. 


And in the next Dialogue, the same speaker remarks, — 
" It is best not to love to be moved by the bold assertions of 
" others, since they carry us away to incorrect views, but to 
" make the words of the inspired writers the correct and exact ride 
" of faith. For, it is but right, that we should assent to them 
" rather than others, and say, c It is not ye that speak, but the 
" Spirit of your Father that speaks in you;'" to which the 
other replies, " You have spoken most correctly." 1 

And his references to Scripture and Scripture only, as 
the ground for faith in the doctrines he advanced, are con- 
stant. 2 

Again ; he says, — " And first of all we may say to these 
" visionaries, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the 
" great mystery of godliness, that is, Christ, who was manifested 
" in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached 
" among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into 
" glory. But I think that our opponents ought either to pass 
" condemnation upon those of old, and accuse the teachers of 
" the world, to whom Christ himself said, ' Go and teach all 
" nations/ of bearing false witness ; or if they shrink from doing 
" this, to embrace the orthodox doctrine respecting Christ, and 
" having bid farewell to their ignorant conceits, to hold firmly to 

1 A. *Apt(TTOv ovy, Si 'Epfieia, rb yuj; tris erepwv advpocrofilats ayairroe7cr6ai 
<piAe?v, eireiroi irpbs vovv T]fias rbv o.56ki/xov airotyepovai, Tricrrews 5e Kavova rbv 
evBvrevrj re Kal aSidcrrpcxpov, roi/s ruv OeriySpwv iroie?cr6ai \6yovs' -rrpetroi yap av, 
oi>x erepois fJMWov ypias, f) eKelvois avroTs eiriKpore7v re Kal \eyeiv, oi>x vfj.e?s errre 
of \a\ovvres, aXka. rb wvev/xa rov TlaTpbs vfj.wv to AaAovv iv xifxiv. B. 'OpOSrara 
%<p7]s. Id. De S. Trin. Dial. 4. ib. p. 504. The phrase rwv Qeriyopoiv is another 
phrase not unfrequently used by Cyril for the inspired writers. As for in- 
stance, — " A. TlpcxTavaTrvdecrOai Se crov ^ov\oljxr)v av r65e, -rrSrepa ras rwv Berjyo- 

poiv (pecvas TToi7]<rovrai irapovSev ; B. 'Aif ei/Seo' epovenv, olixai rrov. A. 

rpd(pei rolvvv 6 iepu>rar6s re Kal iravdpiaros TlavXos, k. r. \. Dial. 5. p. 546. 
And again with rwv ayiwv in the following passage — A. Kal fiyv XffOi roi ire<ppo- 
vrjKcos ovx erep6v ri, irapa rb rois ayiots Kal 6eT)y6pois Sokouv, ot rbv irepl rovrwv 

7]fui' irapeSo&dv re Kal SieffdcpTjcrav \6yov. 'O p.ev yap detrneatos Iwavvrjs 

IlaCAos de. . .. <p7]ffli', k. r. \. De S. Trin. Dial. 4. ib. p. 519. 

J A. 'Ireov 5rj oZv eir' avr^v ?j rdxos ri]v ayiav ypa<p^v, k. r. A. Dial. 2. ib. 
p. 450. Again ; — B. Kal rls av yevoiro rovrwv T) irtcrris ; A. To ypafx/xa rb 
lepbv, 7) Qeoirvevaros ypafpy ffacpws Kal rjKpt^w/xevoDS evovaa ©ey rb Tlvev/xa avrou. 
Dial. 7. p. 641. And again ; — A. Woe ri\v 0eiav re Kal lepdv iroKvypayfjiOvovvres 
ypatyyv, Kara8prj(Tu>iJ.ef air' avrTJs rb fyrovfuevov. Quod unus sit Christus, 
Dialog, ib. p. 731. 


" the sacred Scriptures, and folloicing the right path of the sacred 
" writers, go straight to the truth itself." l 

Again ; " But if, to persons in such a state of mind, it is 
" necessary to apply the rein, would it not be most absurd to be 
" silent, and not to instil into your pious ears the knowledge of 
" the Holy Scriptures, as a sweet and life-giving fountain, which 
" God long ago promised us ; saying, by the voice of Isaiah, 
" ' Ye shall draw water with joy out of the wells of salvation/ 
" But ' the wells of salvation.' we interpret as meaning the holy 
tc prophets, evangelists, and apostles, who pour upon the world 
" the supernal, and heavenly, and salutary word; the Holy 
" Spirit supplying it to them ; and thus fill with joy the whole 
" world. Come, therefore, let us apply our mind to those things 
" that lie in the depths of that spiritual teaching, and thence 
" draw the discovery of the truth." 2 And. further on in the same 
treatise; "Since it is necessary that ice should follow the sacred 
" Scriptures, in nothing going beyond ivhat they sanction, let us 
" proceed to mention, how God the Father is said to crown the 
" Son with glory." 3 

1 $epe Xeywfxev, Kal irpo ye rwv a\\wv rols SoKrirats' irKavaaQe , fii) elUores ras 
ypa<pas, fxr\re rrjv rb fieya rffs eiicre&etas fivcrrripiov, rovreari Xpicrrov hs i(pave- 
pwdf] ev crapK), k. t. \. (1 Tim. iii. 16.) Aelv Se, olfxat, robs Si' evavrias, r) tyrjcpov 
etrdyeiv rrjv alo~x'u>> toIs iraXai, Kal tyevSriySpovs awoKxXelv robs rrjs oiKOVfxevys 
fxvaraywyobs, ois avrbs e<pi) Xptarbs' iropevQevres fxadyreiffare iravra to. edvrf, tj 
etirep rovro Karaire<ppiKa<ri Spav, 6p6a. fxtv e\eo~8ai (ppovelv to iirl Xptcrrw. <ppa- 
ffavras Se rb eppw&dai Setv rats a<pwv avrwv auadiais, airpl* fxev exeo~8ai rwv 
lepwv ypafifxaraiv rrjv Se airXavrj rwv ayiwv Sidyovras rplfiov, eV avryv tevai t^)i/ 
aXJiOeiav. Id. De recta fide ad Tlieodos. Op. torn. v. P. 2. p. 6. This passage^ 
with much more of the context, is also to he found word fcr word in his treatise, 
De incarn. Unigen. Dial. torn. v. P. 1. pp. 6S0, 1. 

* Ei Se Kal rails ovrws exovffi rppevbs irpoafSaWeiv avayKalov, ttws ovk av yevoiro 
rwv &yav (7(pa\epwrarwv rb e\eff6ai <nyr)v, Kal fxij rah eiiaefSeaiv vfxwv aKoals 
evievai irKeicrraKis, Kadanep ti vcifxa yXvKV Kal faoirotbv rwv lepwv ypafxfxarwv ri)v 
yvwaiv, oirep rjfuv Kal waAai Qebs viriax ve ^ TO t ^eywv Sia <pwv?is Hffaiov Kal 
avr\rjffare vSwp fxer' ev<ppoo~vv7]s eK rwv Trrjywv rov awrr t plov. 'Zwrrjpiov Se 
Trr\yas elvai <pafxev, robs ayiovs Trpotyrjras, evay^eXicrrds re Kal cnroaroXovs, ot rbv 
avwdev, Kal ef ovpavov Kal awrr,ptov rw koct/xw fSpvovcri Koyov, x°PVy o ^ v ' ros avrois 
rov ayiov Tlvevfiaros, anaadv re ovrw Ko.rev<ppalvovo~i rr,v vir' ovpav6v. $epe 
roivvv, rots els ra f3ddr) rwv 7rap' avrov evvo:iiv Kadtevres rbv vovv, rrjs a\r]deias rrjv 
evpeo-tv eKelOev avr\i\crwfj.ev. Id. De recta fide »d Peg. lib. ii. init. torn. v. P. 2. 
p. 128. 

3 'EireiSr] b~e rots lepoTs eireo-Qai ypdfxfxao-iv avaynalov rffxas, ovSafxov irapeKrpe- 
Xovras rb avrois Sokovv, <p(pe Aeywfiev, rlva 57j rp6nov 6 &ebs Kal Tlaryp S6£y 


Again, in his Letter to Euoptius, he says, — " It behoved him, 
" being well versed in the inspired Scriptures, if it was alto- 
" gether his purpose to enter into a discussion with us respecting 
" the divine mysteries, to refer only to the sacred Scriptures ; and 
" thus to compose his exposition in a spirit of piety, and not 
" bring forward against us old and putrid fables." 1 

Still more strongly, in his Treatise on the Holy Trinity, he 
remarks, " All things, therefore, that have been delivered to us 
" by the Law, and Prophets, and Apostles, we receive, and 
" acknowledge, and confess ; and beyond these, we seek not to 
" know anything. For it is impossible for us to say, or at 
" all think anything concerning God, beyond what has been 
" divinely declared by the divine oracles of the Old and New 
11 Testament."" 

And as it respects in particular the doctrine of the consubstan- 
tiality of the Son with the Father, and even the phrase itself, 
he says, — " So that if any one should say, that the Son is of 
" the same nature, and consubstantial with the Father, he 
" would not be considered by us as having introduced any new 
" and unusual phraseology ; but he will be using a word that 
" has, so to speak, the chief seat in the inspired Scripture." 3 

By these statements, then, we must judge of the meaning of 
passages in which he speaks of following the doctrines of the 
Church or the Fathers. There are no doubt several passages 
of that kind in his writings. 4 But they contain nothing to show, 

AeyeTcu o~T€<pavovv rbv vlov ovkovv avTos irov <pi]rr\v 6 fiaicapios TlavAos, k. t. A.. 
Id. ib. p. 168. 

1 "Eb~ei fxtv ovv avrbv rals OeorrvevcrTois evr\(SKr\fxivov ypa<pa1s, ciTrep r\v o\a>s 
CKOirbs avrw, rovs 7repl tS>v Qtiwv rjfj.1v fxvo'Tripiwv Troiuadai Aoyovs, rwv Upwv ypa/j.- 
fiaroov StafjefivrjaBat fxovov, if^v(palveiv Te ovtuis ayloTrpeirws rr)v b.<pr\yr\<jw, Kai fxr\ 
fxvdovs rjfj.1v apxaiovs xal oSiaSoras TrapaKo/xi^eiv us fxeaov. Id. Epist. ad Euoptium, 
prsefix. tract. Pro xii. capit. adv. Theodoret. torn. vi. Pt. 1. p. 201. 

- Xlavra toivvv to. irapao'eo'ofie'va. rjfilv Sid re v6fxov kcl\ irpoiprjrwv ko\ airo- 
o~t6\uiv Sex^/jeda Ka ^ K<xl 6f/.oAoyoufj.ev, ovSiv TrepaiTfpa) tovtuv cirt^ri- 
rovvres. 'ASvvaTov yap rrapa ra B'lwb'iLs virb tuv Otitav Aoyicov ttjs re rraXatas 
KaX KaivrjS SiaOrfKrjs rifj.1v elprifxeva tiirtlv ri rt€p\ Qeov, ^ o\ws ivvorjirat. Id. De BS. 
Trinit. c. 1. torn. vi. Pt. 3. p. 2. 

3 "Clffrt Et Ktzi tis 6/j.otpva re Kal dfxoovo-iov flvai Ktyoi rw Tlarp\ rbv Xlbv, ovk 
a-rwrfQes n KeKawovpyrjKois ws iv bvofjarwv 6to~ti vooIt' av rffj.1v, aAA.*, iV ovrws 
tXiraifxev, ras Trpdras iSpas 4x.ovo~r) rrapd ye rf/ Beorrvevcrrw ypatpij, t8 ToiaSe A.e£et 
XrhaeTai. Id. De SS. Trin. 1. torn. v. Pt. 1. p. 392, 

4 SeeEp. 4. ad Nestorinm, torn. v. P. 2. div. it. p. 22; Ep. 9. ad Coelestia. i!>. 
pp.36, 7; Ep. ad Succeasum, ib.p. 135. De G it. paschal, 1mm. 8. ib. div. 2. p. 94. 


that Cyril held what our opponents or the Romanists contend 
for, namely, that the tradition of the Fathers is a divine in- 
formant, a part of the Rule of faith, or has any authority over 
the conscience. Those who belong to any Church, and conse- 
quently consider that the doctrines of that Church are orthodox, 
may, and do frequently exhort those who may be in an unsettled 
state of mind as to the faith, to adhere to the doctrines which 
the Formularies and great divines of that Church have laid down 
respecting the faith. But they do this, not from the supposition 
that such statements have any intrinsic authority over them, but 
only from a conviction of their truth and consonancy with Scrip- 
ture. So did the Fathers refer to what they considered the 
Church and her divines. For, it is evident, that if they had 
held the views of the Tractators or the Romanists, they could 
not have used the language we have quoted from them, but 
would, like the modern upholders of Tradition, have distinctly 
spoken of it as part of the Rule of faith. 

Bearing this in mind, we may easily explain the passages that 
are often quoted against us on this subject. The strongest 
passage that I know of in Cyril, is that in which, quoting those 
words of St. Paul to Timothy, " Continue thou in the things 
which thou hast learned," he takes occasion thus to exhort those 
to whom he was writing, — " Holding the faith in simplicity of 
" mind, and laying up the tradition (or, teaching) of the Church 
" as a treasure in the inmost recesses of the heart, hold the 
"doctrines that are pleasing to God." 1 Here " the tradition 
of the Church" seems by the preceding context to be the Baptis- 
mal Creed, to which Cyril evidently alludes in the words, — 
" having kept firm and uncorrupted the Confession which we 
confessed before many witnesses."- But this exhortation might 
well be made by one who held Scripture only to have authority 
over the conscience. If Romish doctrine had never prevailed on 
this subject, a Protestant might in similar terms commend the 
Confession of his Church, especially the antient Creeds, to its 

1 "''Ex^'f Se ttjv irlffrtu iv airXols \oytfffxo7s, km rrjs iKK\i}(rias r^v irapahocriv 
KaBanrfp ti Ktifj-ifKiov iv tois rrjs KapElas Ta/xtelois eurtOfls, (X ov r ^ y °-P*gk&vtoiv 
t<£ ©«£ 5i5o7/uaTo>j'. Id. De fast, paschal, horn. 8. torn. v. Pt. 2. div. 2. p. 9i. 

- AkAji/jj 8e Kal dnra.pd<p6opov ri]i/ 6fio\oyiav <pv\d£avrts, fy u}fioXoyi]Kafi.iv eirj 
iroWuv fxaprvpccf. Id. ib. 


members, in perfect consistency with his maintenance of Scrip- 
ture as the sole authoritative Rule of faith. 

And the Fathers, speaking at a time when the modern doc- 
trine, that Tradition is a part of the Rule of faith, was un- 
known, would feel no scrapie in using such language. To 
understand their real views, we must consider their statements 
as a whole, and compare one with another. 

Isidore of Pelusium. (fl. a. 412.) 

" To ascertain that these things are so/' says Isidore of Pelu- 
sium, " let us inspect the ride (or, canon) of truth ; I mean, the 
Holy Scriptures." 1 

And in opposition to the doctrine of Origen on the lapse of 
souls, he says, that, among other objections, two in particular 
seemed to him to be fatal to it ; one of which was, " that it ivas 
not clearly delivered in the Scriptures." ~ 

Theodoret. (fl. a. 423.) 

I proceed to Theodoret, whose testimony in our favor is most 
clear and decisive. 

First, as to Scripture being the sole authoritative Rule of 

In the first of his Dialogues on the Divine Being, called from 
the name given in them to the heterodox disputant, Eranistes, 
he puts into the mouth of Orthodox, (the representative of his 
own views) the following observation; — "Do not bring me 
" human reasonings and syllogisms, for I give credence to 
" the Divine Scripture alone." 3 

1 "Oti be ToOra ovrws %X €l > T0V Kavoua ttjs a\r)deias, tos Oeias, (py.ul, ypacpas 
KaToirnijffwixev. Tl olv (prjcrlv ; k. t. \. ISEDOBI PelCS. Epist. lib. iv. Ep. 
114. ed. Paris. 1638. p. 475. 

2 Tbf irepl rr)s eKirTw crews \6yov, a.\7]6ri n'ei', ws olfxai, ovk ovra, TriOavbv 8e 
SoKOvvra, iro\ka fxhv (col &K\a, bvo be, koto, ye rbv r)fnerepov KoyicrfJ-bv, avarpe-neiv 
boner ev ixev, rb ^trj <ra<pws KeKrjpvxOai ev rais TpcKpcus- bevrepov Se r) &Kpa.TO 5 
Arj077. Id. ib. lib. iv. Ep. 163. pp. 504, 5. 

3 Mr) fiot XoyifffjLovs nal crv\Koyi<r/j.ovs avOpwjrlvovs TrpocreveyKris' eyui ya.f 
fj.6vr] irei8onai ry 6ela ypcupjj. Theodobet. Eran. Dialog. 1. Op. e<l. Scbulz. 
Halae, 1769 et scq. torn. iv. p. 18. 


And a little further on, the heterodox disputant having 
observed, " You have explained this passage well ; but I should 
" be glad to know how the antient doctors of the Church un- 
" derstood it/' Orthodox says, — " You ought to have been con- 
" vinced by the proofs afforded by the Apostles and P?'ophets. 
" But since you also inquire for the interpretations of the holy 
" Fathers, I will also, with God's assistance, afford you this 
" help." 1 So far, then, from bringing the interpretation of 
the Fathers as our authority for deducing such doctrines from 
Scripture, he, in both these passages, clearly repudiates every- 
thing but Scripture, as an authority by which we are to be 

But Mr. Newman quotes Theodoret, and would fain make us 
believe, that Theodoret's views were accordant with his own. 
" In each of the three argumentative Dialogues," says Mr. N., 
" of which his Eranistes is composed, we find the following 
" significant arrangement, in accordance with Yincentius's 
" direction already commented on — the arguments from Scrip- 
" ture come first, and then passages from the Fathers in illus- 
" tration." True ; and a very good arrangement this, too ; 
and one which we may see in the writings of many of those 
whom the Tractators would stigmatize as violent " ultra Protes- 
tants ;" and an arrangement which, when coupled with the pas- 
sages we have just quoted, and others which we shall quote 
presently, is " significant " of anything rather than an agree- 
ment between the views of Theodoret and Mr. Newman ; for he 
blames the person with whom he is arguing, for asking for the 
interpretations of the Fathers, after the testimonies that had 
been adduced from the Scriptures. What is still more extra- 
ordinary, Mr. N. quotes the very passage we have just cited, 
and adds to it these remarks, — " As if he said, it is not now 
" the place for bringing mere authority ; I am proving the doc- 
" trine. Authority is well in its place, viz. before the contro- 
" versy, but now our business is with Scripture. " (pp. 389, 90.) 
"What can be the meaning of these words ? Theodoret is here 

1 ''ESei fxlv <re iraffdyvai reus airocr-r oKikcus kcu Trpo<pT)TiKcus aTrofifl^efftv. 'EirsiSr; 
86 ko\ raj tCv ayioiv Trarepwv ep/j.7)veias iTri£r)Te7s, iyd cot Kal ra{nr)f, <rvv &«f 
>l>avai, irpoaolcrw ryv Ofpcnreiai'. Id. lb. p. 43. 


speaking of the ground, or evidence, or authority upon which a 
doctrine is to be received ; and the only fit ground he declares to 
be a demonstration of it from Scripture. Mr. Newman, on the 
contrary, holds, that the interpretation given to Scripture by the 
Fathers, is a necessary part of the evidence upon which a doc- 
trine is to be received, a necessary part of the Rule of faith ; on 
which supposition Orthodox was quite mistaken in supposing 
that his opponent ought to have been ruled by the passages 
of Scripture he had adduced. The request made by the hetero- 
dox disputant, was just what ought to have been made, accord- 
ing to the scheme of the Tractators. 

Nothing, however, can more completely prove the opposition 
of Theodoret's views to those of the Tractators, than the first 
passage we have quoted above, (one which Mr. Newman has 
very prudently omitted,) viz. "For, I give credence to the divine 
Scripture alone." 

And here w r e may notice, by the way, in reply to the notion 
of the Tractators that the (supposed) unity of sentiment among 
the early Fathers in fundamental points, is a proof of their 
having learnt their views from a successional delivery of an ex- 
position of the faith, more full than what is contained in Scrip- 
ture, and derived from the oral teaching of the Apostles, how 
Theodoret, when alluding to the agreement of various excellent 
men with each other, accounts for it. "I admire," says Eraxistes, 
" these men for their agreement in the faith. For, all of them 
" gave the same interpretation of the Evangelical declarations, 
" as if they had been assembled together, and drawn up a joint 
" exposition of their sentiments. Orthodox. Immense moun- 
" tains and seas separate them one from another ; but the dis- 
u tance has not injured their harmony. For, they were all 
" taught by the same spiritual grace." l 

And in one of his Letters he again makes the same remark. 
" But the day," he says, " would fail me in enumerating Poly- 
" carp, and Irenseus, and Methodius, and Hippolytus, and the 

1 'Aya/xai rr\s crvfj.<po>vias robs &vb~pas. "Airafres yap tV out))* tpfx.rjveiav rSiv 
(vayyeAtxuv f>t)rS)v s-Koa\o~avro, w<nrep els rabrbv avvi\Q6vres, k<x\ to KOtvfj S^fav 
avyypatyavTzs. OP0. Mtyto-ra fiiv avrobs air' aAA.7JA.aii' Kal ipr\ xal ireKa-yr) 
StiffTrio-iu, aAAa rfy ffvfxcpwviav ovk iirr^fiayev i; Stdcrrao-is. 'Ynb /uias yap airavrfs 


" other teachers of the Church. Therefore we say in a word, 
" that we follow the divine oracles and all those holy men. For, 
iC through the grace of the Spirit, having penetrated into the 
" depths of the divinely-inspired Scripture, they became ac- 
" quainted with its meaning, and made it evident to those who 
" wished to learn it. For, the difference of their languages 
" made no difference in their doctrines. For, they were flowing 
" fountains of the grace of the Divine Spirit, receiving their 
" streams from one source." 1 

These passages are a direct proof, that Theodoret did not hold 
the doctrine, that we are to learn the meaning of Scripture from 
an interpretation handed down from one to another from the 
time of the Apostles, because he attributes the orthodoxy of the 
Fathers he mentions to the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit ; 
and in so speaking shows that he exercised the right of private 
judgment as to what are the true doctrines of Christianity. 

Many, also, are the passages in which he points us to the 
Scriptures as our sole authoritative Rule. 

Thus, in the same Dialogues, Eranistes having said, — "The 
" divine Peter hath said, ' Christ, therefore, having suffered for 
" us in the flesh : 3 " — Orthodox answers, " And with this agrees 
" what I have said. For we have learnt the rule (or, canon) of 
" doctrines from the divine Scripture."" 

Again, in his work on heretical fables, he says, " The divine 
Scripture is my teacher in what I say." 3 

Again; "I exhort, therefore, those who shall read this 
" work, to compare the divine declarations with each of those 

1 'AAA.O yap iirt\el\pei /xe fj Tjfiepa TloXvKap-nov Kal ~E.lpi\vdiov Kal Me668tov Kal 
'\ttiz6\vtov, Kal robs &\\ovs ttjs eKKXrjcrlas 5tSa<TKa\ovs a.irapid/AOv/j.ei'oy. 'SvmSfxus 
toivvv (pafxiv, i>s tj/xus Tots deiois Aoyiois a.Ko\ov$ovfj.eis Kal tovtois awafft rots 
ayiois- Aia yap rrjs rod TIvev/xaTos x°-P lT0S € ' s T ^ T V S Oeoirvevffrov ypacpys 
KaTaSvvres fiaOos, avTol Se rr)V avrrjs Sidvotav iyvoicrav, Kal rdis fxaQeiv $ov\ofitvois 
87JA.77J' raimjv air«pT)vav. OvSi yap t) Bia<popa tuiv yXwrrwv Starpopav Soy/xdraiv 
etpyaaaro- Kpovvol yap ?i<rav rr/s tov delov nveu/ucrros ^apt-roy, tK /uiay irriyTJs rb 
w/uo Sex6ixevot. Id. in Epist. cui tit. Quod post bumanit. assumt. unicus filius 
sit Doni. noster Jes. Christ, ib. p. 1313. 

2 'O Oelos ttprjKi Tlerpos, Xpiarov ovv iradovros vwep iftubv crapKl. OP0. Tovra> 
ye Kal 6 rifxerepos <Tv/x<pajv(7 \6yos. 'E/c yap ttjs deias ypa<prjs /xe/xaOrjKafief rbv 
tuiv Soy/xdro})/ Kav6va. Id. ib. Dial. 3. p. 213. 

3 Twv elp-rfixivaiv 8i8a<r/caAos r\ 0eia ypa<prj. Id. Hseret. Fab. lib. v. c. 1. 
torn. iv. p. 377. 


" wicked doctrines, and learn, by a careful comparison, how 
" great the difference is between the false doctrine and the 

" truth But these are the doctrines of the divine Spirit, 

" which it behoves every one to follow continually, and to pre- 
" serve the rule of these doctrines immovable ; and by this rule 
" to direct himself." 1 

Further ; as to the perfection of Scripture, we may observe 
the following passages. 

" The Scripture hath not used the word uncreated, but hath 
" said that he is the Father. And I use that expression which 
" Scripture has used .... Though the word uncreated may 
" appear to accord with our views, yet piety permits us not to 
" use it ; for otherwise Scripture would certainly have used it. 
" . . . . If it is written, I use the word ; if it is not written, I 
" am under no necessity to use it ... . I say not, that to con- 
" fess him to be uncreated, is what we cannot receive ; but that 
" although it may appear to fall in with our views, yet, never- 
" theless, the word not being found anywhere in the divine 
" Scripture, it is not necessary to use it. For if it was neces- 
" sary, the divine Scripture would have used it." 3 

" I do not say these things definitively. For I consider it 
" presumptuous to speak definitively of things concerning which 
" the divine Scripture does not speak distinctly. But I have 
" said what I conceived was suitable to the views of piety/' 3 

n It does not become us to search after those things which 

1 HapanaXu) to'ivvv robs evr(v^op.ivovs rrjde rfj (rvyyparpij , eKaffrcp ruiv irovrfpGiv 
iKiivoiv 5oyp.drcov irapaOuvai ra 0e?a, Kal rfj ■trape^erdcrei KarafxaQuv, oo~ov rod 

ipevSovs Kal rrjs a\r}9elas rb p.kffov ravra 8e rod deiov Tlvevp.aros 56y/j.ara' 

oh eireo-Oat irpoo-r]K€i SirjveKcos, Kal rbv rovroiv o\k\ivt) <pv\drreiv Kav6va, Kal rovrcp 
rr)f oiKeiav Sievdvveiv ^i/xrjy. Id. ib. C. ult. p. 481. 

2 'AAA' oiiK ei-nev T) ypacpri rb ayevi)rov, rb 5e Tlarepa avrbv elvai elirev KaKuvo 

Aeyco t r) ypa<f>r) eTirec rb ayivi)rov, k&v SoKrj rats ivvolais t)/xwv inroTrlwreiv, 

aAA' t) eucre/3eta ovk iTnrpeirei \4yeiv el Se p.rj, elirev avro wavrois r\ ypa<pr) 

El ytypaTrrat, Aeyw el Se ov yeypa-nrai, ovk c^oj avdyKf]v elireTv Ov \eya> 

Sri rb ayevr/rov avrbv dp.o\oye7v airapdSeKrSv eariv f]fxiv aAA' '6ri k&v Soktj raTs 
ivvoiats i]/> viroTrlirreiv, aAA' '6/j.ccs ws ovSa/xov rrjs Oeias ypa<p?is Keijxevrjv r\\v 
<puvi]v ovk avayicalov \eyeiv. E» yap ?iv avayKaiov, elirev av avrb r] Beta ypa<pi\. 
Id. De Sancta Trin. Dial. 2. torn. v. pp. 954 — G. 

3 'E^o; Se ravra ovk aTro(paw6)xevos Aeyco. To\/J.r]pbv yap airocpavriKSis ol/xat 
\tyeiv, irepl £>v 7] 9eia SiafyriSriv ov Keyei ypa<pr)' aAA' Hirep rols eture/Secn \oyicr- 
fj.o7s app.6rrnv vireKafiov (tpi]Ka. Id. Qurest. in Genes, q. 4. torn. i. p. 8. 


" are passed over ia silence ; but it behoves us to love those 
" things which are written." 1 

w It is superfluous and unprofitable to inquire after those 
things which are passed over in silence." 3 

" But we are instructed by these not to extinguish the Spirit, 
" but to rekindle the grace which we have received ; and to in- 
" troduce nothing foreign to the divine Scripture, but to be satisfied 
" with the teaching of the Spirit ; and to hate the heresies of 
" those, of whom some have added fables to the divine oracles, 
" and others have exalted their own impious imaginations 
" above the doctrine of Scripture." 3 

" I am not so bold as to say anything which is passed over 
by the divine Scripture in silence." 4. 

Moreover, as to the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son 
with the Father being taught fully and distinctly by Scripture, 
we have the following testimony. " Answer me, my friend, [says 
" Orthodox, in theDialogues already quoted,] do we affirm, that 
" the substance of God the Father, and of the only-begotten 
u Son, and of the most holy Spirit, is one — as we have been 
" taught by the divine Scripture, both of the Old and New 
" Testament, and by the Fathers assembled at Nice, — or do we 
" follow the blasphemies of Arius ?" 5 

Again ; " Eranistes. I said, at the commencement of our 
" conversation, You nearly persuade me to become a consub- 
" stantialist. Orthodox. You ought to say, to become a Chris- 
" tian. For when you have become a Christian, you will ac- 

1 Ov Set fortly ra aecnyr)fxiya- aripyav Se 7rpo<7T)Kei to yeypafx/xeya. Id. ib. 
q. 45. torn. i. p. 57. 

2 TLepiTrbv Kal av6v7)Tov rb to cr€o~iyr)fxeya £r]Te?v. Id, Quaest. in Exod. q. 2G. 
torn. i. p. 143. 

3 'H/ieis 8e TrcuSevS/xeda Sia tovtwv, ^c?j aj3eyyvyai rb wyevfjia, a\A' ava^0Dirvpe7y 
%v iXafio/xey x&P lv ' Ka ^ M'J^fJ' dwSrptov f-neicrdyeiv rrj Oeia ypacpfj, &AA' apueto-Oai 
rrj Sida<TKa\ia rod TlvevfJ-aros, Kal /xvo-drrecrOai ras alpeo-eis, 3>v ol /u.ev /xvOovs rols 
Oelois \oyiois irpoaeOeaav ol Se robs Suo-ffej3e?s avrwv Aoyi<r/j.ovs rr)s ypacpiKrjs 
irpoerlfxr]crav Stavoias. Id. Quaest. in Levit. q. 9. torn. i. p. 187. 

* Oil yap ovroos el/A Opaavs, Uicrre <pdvai ri aeo~iyr\\x.evov irapa rrj Oeia ypacpfj. 
Id. Eranist. Dial. 2, torn. iv. p. 122. 

5 'AirSKpivai, Si <piX6rr)s, rod Qeou Kal Tlarpbs Kal rov /xouoyeyovs Tlov, Ka\ rod 
iravaylov Uyev/xaros, p.iav overlap (pa/iey, &is irapa rrjs Qelas ypa<pjjs 48i8dx0r)iJ-fy 
iraKaias re Kal vtas, Kal rwv iv NiKaia o~vvekrj\v06roiy irarepuv, r) rais 'Apelov 
fiXao-tp-n/j-lan aKo\ov9ovfiey ; Id. Eranist. Dial. 1. torn. iv. p. 6. 


" knowledge, that it is necessary to say that the Son is consub- 
" stantial ; being taught it by the divine Scriptures. For whatsoever 
" things are proper to God, these things are common to Father, 
" Son, and Holy Ghost." » 

I do not believe that our opponents can produce a single 
passage from Theodoret that even wears the appearance of 
making Patristical Tradition any part of the foundation on 
which the faith is to be built, or an authority binding the 
conscience to belief. That there are many passages in which he 
declares, that he holds the same doctrines as the great teachers 
who had preceded him in the Church, and particularly the 
Creed of the Nicene Fathers, and that he may speak so as to 
show that he held their maintenance of those views a confirma- 
tion of the correctness of his interpretation of Holy Scripture, 
is quite true, but proves nothing as to the point in question. 
For instance, the passage is sometimes referred to in which he 
speaks of the Nicene Creed as " a sort of canon and gnomon by 
which he directed his teaching." But the passage, when taken 
with its context, gives not the least support to the notions of 
our opponents or the Romanists. It occurs in one of his 
Letters, in which, after complaining that his orthodoxy had 
been impugned, he adds, that as he was constantly preaching in 
the Church he had many witnesses to the correctness of his 
doctrine ; — " for," he says, " we follow the Apostolic decisions 
" and laws, and applying the Creed laid down at Nice (or, Nicsea) 
" by the holy and blessed Fathers as a sort of canon and gnomon 
" to our words, we direct our teaching.'" 2 He most properly ap- 
peals to this as a test and proof of his orthodoxy. The Church 
of England does the same in her Articles when she lays down 
the three Creeds " as a sort of canon and gnomon" to the 
teaching of her members. But why ? Not from any intrinsic 

1 Efaov Kal iv h.pxO T °5 A&yov, Tlap b\iyov fie treiOeis S/xoovcrtaffrrji' yeveadai. 
O. Tevoir6 ffe €iire?</, 'S.picrriavbv yevecrOar yey6/xei/os <rv yap Xpicrrtavhs, iirt- 
yvuxrrj '6ti SfAoovcrtov Set \4ytiv, anb toiv dzioiv ypa<poiv StSax^eis' ocra yap JBio ej<rt 
&eov, ravra koivo. Uarpbs Kal Tiov Kal aylov Xlvtv/xaros. Id. De Sancta Trin. 
Dial. 1. torn. v. pp. 914, 5. 

2 To?s yap airocTToKiKois %pois Kal v6fj.ois a.KoAovdovfj.ei', Kal tyjv ZKTcQeiaav iv 
NiKala. iriaTiv virb rwu ayiwv Kal fiaKapioiv irarepoiv, ol6v rtva Kav6va Kal yvuijxova 
to?s \6yois irpQ<r<pipovTts, ri]v hiSaVKaXiav (vQvvoixev. Id. Epist. 90. torn. iv. 
p. 1161. 



authority they have over our faith, but as the Article says, 
because, in the judgment of those divines of our Church that 
brought about the Reformation and drew up the Articles, " they 
may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture." 

Vincentius of Lerins. (fl. a. 434.) 

We are now come to an author, whose writings are very con- 
fidently appealed to by the Romanists, and by Dr. Pusey and 
his party, as supporting their views, viz. Vincentius, " a Pres- 
byter, in a monastery in the island of Lerins;" 1 and I do not 
hesitate to admit, that some passages in his Treatise against the 
profane novelties of heretics, speak strongly of the authority of 
the Fathers ; although they do not support our opponents in the 
grand fundamental position, that Ecclesiastical Tradition is to be 
considered as in substance the representative of the oral teach- 
ing of the Apostles, and so a divine informant. But I must also 
observe, that, as it respects the value of Patristical Tradition, 
his statements differ very materially from those of the earlier 
Fathers ; and further, that the precept, for which his Treatise is 
more particularly celebrated, being in itself a useful direction (so 
far as it can be carried out) in the investigation of the truth, mag 
be, and is, quoted and approved, by many who do not attach to the 
results obtained by its application the same degree of authority 
which he himself and others might be inclined to attribute to it. 
\Ve are far, indeed, from being disposed to slight and discard 
the testimony to which that Treatise appeals ; but, regarding it 
only as human testimony, we do not look upon it as being a 
proper foundation for faith to rest upon. Nay, considering that 
Vincentius himself nowhere claims for it a divine origin, we feel 
some doubt whether he himself would have considered it in that 
light. But at any rate, a monk at Lerins is certainly not the 
man to dictate to the Church. 

The following passages will give us a full view of his senti- 
ments in this matter. I quote from the translation lately 
published at Oxford, that there may be no ground for cavil. 
u Enquiring often with great desire and attention of very 

1 GsKKAS. Cat. vir. illustr. 


" many excellent, holy, and learned men, how and by what 
" means I might assuredly, and, as it were, by some general and 
" ordinary way, discern the true catholic faith from false and 
" wicked heresy ; to this question, I had usually this answer of 
" them all, that whether I or any other desired to find out the 
" fraud of heretics daily springing up, and to escape their 
" snares, and willingly would continue in a sound faith, himself 
" safe and sound, that he ought, two manner of ways, by God's 
u assistance, to defend and preserve his faith ; that is, first, by 
" the authority of the law of God ; secondly, by the Tradition of 
" the Catholic Church. Here some man, perhaps, may ask, 
" seeing the canon of the Scripture is perfect, and most abun- 
" dantly of itself sufficient for all things, what need we join unto 
" it the authority of the Church's understanding and interpre- 
" tation ? The reason is this, because the Scripture being of 
u itself so deep and profound, all men do not understand it in 
"one and the same sense, but divers men diversely. ... an d 
" therefore very necessary it is, for the avoiding of so great 
(t windings and turnings of errors so various, that the line of 
" expounding the Prophets and Apostles be directed and drawn 
" according to the rule of the ecclesiastical and catholic sense. 
" Again, within the Catholic Church itself, we are greatly to 
" consider, that we hold that which hath been believed every- 
11 where, always, and of all men : for that is truly and properly 
" catholic, as the very force and nature of the word doth declare, 
" which comprehendeth all things in general, after an universal 
" manner ; and that shall we do if we follow universality, anti- 
u quity, consent. Universality shall we follow thus, if we profess 
" that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout 
" the world acknowledged and confesseth. Antiquity shall we 
" follow, if we depart not any whit from those senses, which it 
" is plain that our holy elders and fathers generally held. Con- 
" sent shall we likewise follow, if, in this very Antiquity itself, 
** we hold the definitions and opinions of all, or, at any rate, 
tl almost all the priests and doctors together. "What, then, shall 
" a Catholic Christian do, if some small part of the Church cut 
" itself off from the communion of the universal faith ? What 
" else but prefer the health of the whole body before the pesti- 



" ferous and corrupt member ? What if some new infection 
" goetli about to corrupt, not in this case only a little part, but 
" the whole Church ? Then, likewise, shall he regard, and be 
u sure to cleave unto Antiquity ; which can now no more be 
" seduced by any crafty novelty. What if, in Antiquity itself, 
" and amongst the antient Fathers, be found some error of two 
u or three men, or haply of some one city or province ? Then 
" shall he diligently take heed, that he prefer the universal 
' f decrees and determinations of an antient General Council, if 
" such there be, before the temerity or folly of a few. What if 
" some such case happen, where no such thing can be found ? 
" Then shall he labour, by conferring and laying them together 
" amongst themselves, to refer to, and consult the antient 
" Fathers' opinions, not of all, but of those only, which, living at 
" divers times and sundry places, yet continuing in the com- 
" munion and faith of one Catholic Church, were approved 
" masters and guides to be followed ; [or, rather, " masters 
" likely to lead us right," magistri probabiles,~\ and whatsoever 
" he perceivetb, not one or two, but all jointly, with one consent, 
"plainly, usually, constantly, to have holden, written, and taught ; 
" let him know, that this, without scruple or doubt, he ought to 
" believe." 1 (§§ 2, 3. Oxf. ed. 1837.) 

1 Stepe igitur niagno studio et gamma attentione perquirens a quainplurimis 
sanetitate et doctrina praestantibus viris, quonani modo possim certa quadani 
et quasi generali ac regulari via, Catholics fidei veritatem ab ha?retiese pravi- 
tatis falsitate discernere, hujusmodi semper responsum ab omnibus fere retuli : 
Quod sive ego sive quis alius vellet exsurgentium ha?reticorum fraudes depre- 
hendere, laqueosque vitare, et in fide sana sanus atque integer permanere, du- 
plici modo munire fidem suam Domino adjuvante deberet. Primo scilicet, 
divinae legis auctoritate : turn deinde Ecelesiae Catholicae traditione. Hie 
forsitan rcquirat aliquis; cum sit perfectus Scripturarum Canon, sibique ad 
omnia satis superque sufficiat, quid opus est, ut ei Ecclesiasticae intelligentiae 
jungatur autboritas ? Quia videlicet Scripturam sacram pro ipsa sua altitudine 
non uno eodemque sensu nniversi acedpiont : sed ejusdem eloquia aliter atque 
alitor alius atque alius interpretatur : ut pene quot homines sunt, tot illinc 
sententirc erui posse videantur .... Atque idcirco multum necesse est, propter 
tantos tarn varii erroris anfractus, ut Propbeticae et Apostolicse interpret ationis 
linea secundum Ecclesiastici et Cathobxi sensus normam dirigatur. In ipsa 
item Catbolica Ecclesia magnopcre curandum est, ut id teneamus quod ubique 
quod semper quod ab omnibus creditum est. Hoc est etenim vere proprieque 
catholicam, quod ipsa vis uominis ratioque declarat, qua; omnia fere univer- 
saliter compreliendit. Sed hoc ita deiuum fiet; si sequamur universitatem, 
antiquitatem, consensionera. Sequemur autem universitatem hoc modo, si hanc 


The same advice he repeats elsewhere (§ 27,) but immediately 
after adds the following important exceptions ; — " Which antient 
" consent, however, of holy Fathers, is not so carefully and 
" diligently to be both sought for and followed in every small 
" question of the Divine Law, but only,, or at least especially, in 
" the rule of faith ; neither yet are heresies always, nor all, after 
" this sort to be impugned, but only such as be new and upstart ; 
" to wit, at their first springing up, and before they have, as 
" hindered by the shortness of time, falsified the rules of the 
" antient faith ; and before that, the poison spreading farther, 
" they go about to corrupt the Fathers' writings ; but those 
" heresies which have already got ground, and be of some con- 
" tinuance, are not this way to be dealt withal ; because, by 
" long tract of time, they have had long opportunity to steal 
" the truth. And therefore such kind, whether of profane 
" schisms or heresies, which be of longer standing, we must not 
" otherwise convince, but only, if need be, by the authority of the 
" Scriptures ; or else avoid and detest them as already convicted 
" and condemned in old time by General Councils of Catholic 
" pi"iests. Therefore, so soon as any infectious error beginneth 
" to break forth, and for her defence, to steal certain words of 
" the divine law, and craftily and fraudulently to expound them ; 

unani fidem veram esse fateamur, quain tota per orbem terrarum eonfitetur 
Ecclesia : antiquitatem vero ita, si ab his sensibus nullatenus recedamus, quos 
sanctos majores ac patres nostros celebrasse manifesttun est : consensionem 
quoque itidem, si in ipsa vetustate oinnimn vel certe pene omnium sacerdotuni 
pariter et niagistroruin definitiones sententiasque sectemur. Quid igitur faciet 
C!iristianus Catholicus, si se aliqua Ecclesia? particula ab universalis fidei com- 
munione prseciderit ? Quid utique nisi ut pestifero corruptoque rnembro, 
sanitateni universi corporis auteponat ? Quid si novella aliqua contagio non jam 
portiunculam tantum sed totam pariter Ecclesiam commaculare conetur ? Tunc 
item providebit, ut antiquitati inhsereat ; quae prorsus jam non potest ab ulla 
novitatis fraude seduci. Quid si in ipsa vetustate, duorum aut trium bominum, 
vel certe civitatis unius aut etiam provincias alicujus error depreliendatur ? Tunc 
omnino curabit, ut paucorum temeritati vel inscitias si qua sunt universalitor 
antiquitus universalis concilii decreta prccponat. Quid si tale aliquid emergat, 
ubi nihil hujusmodi reperiatur ? Tunc operam dabit, ut collatas inter se majorum 
consulat interrogetque sententias : eorum duntaxat, qui divcrsis licet temporibns 
et locis in unius tamen Ecclesia? Catbolicae communione et fide permanentes, 
magistri probabiles exstiterunt : et quicquid non unus aut duo tantum, sed 
onnics pariter, uno eodemepic consensu, aperte, frccpicnter, perseveranter, tenuiss'.-, 
scripsisse, docuisse cognovcrit, id sibi (juocpie intelligat absque ulla dubitatione 
credenduni." Vincent. LlBlNBNS. Commonit. §§ 2, 3. ed. Oxon. 1836. 


" straightways for the right understanding of the canon, the 
" Fathers' judgments are to be gathered together, by which any 
" whatsoever new, and therefore profane doctrine, growing up, 
" may, without any shift, be detected ; and without any delay, 
" be condemned. But those Fathers' opinions only are to be 
" conferred together, which, with holiness, wisdom, and con- 
" stancy lived, taught, and continued in the faith and com- 
" munion of the Catholic Church ; and finally deserved either 
" to die faithfully in Christ, or happily for Christ to be martyred : 
" whom, notwithstanding, we are to believe with this condition, 
" that whatsoever either all, or the greater part, with one and the 
" same mind, plainly, commonly, and constantly, as it were, in a 
" council of doctors agreeing together, have confirmed by receiving 
" it, holding it, and delivering it ; let that be accounted for nn- 
" doubted, for certain and acknowledged truth. And what- 
" soever any, although holy and learned, although a bishop, 
" although a confessor and martyr, hath holdeu otherwise than 
" all, or against all, let that be put aside from the authority of the 
" common, public, and general judgment, and reputed among 
" his own proper private and secret opinions, lest, with the 
" utmost danger of our eternal salvation, we do, according to 
" the custom of sacrilegious heretics and schismatics, forsake 
" the truth of the universal doctrine, and follow the novel error 
" of some one man." (§ 28.) l 

1 " Quae taracn antiqua sanctorum Patruin consensu), non in omnibus divinse 
legis qua?stiuncubs, Bed solum vel certe prsecipue in tidei regula magno nobis 
studio et investiganda est et sequenda. Sed neque semper neque omnes bavreses 
boc modo inipugnandse sunt, sed novitia? recentesqne tautummodo, cum primum 
scilicet exoriuntur, antequam infalsarint vetusta? fidei regulas, ipsius temporis 
vetentur angustiis, ac priusquam manante latius venenomajorum volumina vitiarc 
conentur. Csetcrum dilatatae et inveterate ba;reses nequaquam bac via aggredi- 
endse smit, eo quod prolixo temporum tractu longa iis furandsc veritatis patuerit 
occasio. Atque ideo quascunque illas antiquiores, vel scbismatum vel basreseon 
propbanitates, nullo modo nos oportet, nisi aut sola, si opus est, Seripturarum 
auctoritato convincere, aut certe jam antiquitus universabbus sacerdotam Catboli- 
corum concibis convictas damnatasque vitare. Itaquo cum primum mab cujusque 
erroris putredo erumpere cceperit, et ad defensionem sui, qurcdam sacra; legis verba 
f'urari, eaque fallaciter et fraudulenter cxponerc, statim interprctando canoni ma- 
jorum sentential congregandte sunt, quibus illud quodcunque exsurgat iu>vitium, 
ideoque propbanum, et absque ulla ambage prodatur, et sine ulla retractatione 
dannictur. Sed eorum duntaxat I'atrum sententia) couferenda) sunt, qui in fide 
et communione catbolica sancte, sapientcr, constanter viventes, docentea, eb pw> 


" We said in the premises, that this always hath been, and 
" even at this day is, the custom of Catholics, to try and examine 
'■' true faith by these two manner of ways. First,by the authority 
'* of the Divine canon ; secondly, by the Tradition of the Catholic 
" Church : not because the canonical Scripture is not as to itself 
" sufficient for all things, but because very many, expounding 
" God's word at their own pleasure, do thereby conceive divers 
" opinions and errors. And for that cause it is necessary, that 
" the interpretation of the heavenly Scripture be directed ac- 
* cording to the one only rule of the Church's understanding : 
" only be it observed, especially in those questions upon which the 
"foundations of the whole Catholic doctrine do depend. Likewise 
" we said, that, even within the Church, we were to look to the 
" consent, both of Universality and Antiquity, that so we be 
" neither carried away from sound unity to the side of schism, 
" nor yet cast headlong from antiquity of religion into heretical 
" novelties. We said, also, that in ecclesiastical Antiquity 
" itself, we were diligently to observe, and seriously to consider 
" two things, — unto which all those that will not be heretics, 
" must, of necessity, cling fast. The first is, that which hath, 
" in old time, been determined by all the priests of the Catholic 
" Church, by authority of a General Council. The second is,. 
" that if any new question did arise, in which that were not to 
" be found, we ought to have recourse to the sayings of the holy 
" Fathers ; but yet of those only who, in their time and place, 
" were approved masters [magistri probabiles], being such as 
<e continued in the unity of the communion and faith ; and what- 
" soever we find that they held with one mind and one consent, 

manentes, vel niori In Cbristo fideliter, vel occidi pro Cbristo feliciter meruerunt. 
Quibus tainen hac lege credendura est, ut quicquid vel omnes, vel plures, uno 
eodemque sensu manifeste, frequenter, perseveranter, velut quodam cousentiente 
sibi magistrorum concilio, accipieudo, tenendo, tradendo, firmaverint, id pro indu- 
bitato certo ratoque habeatur. Quicquid vero, quamvis ille sanctus et doctus, 
quamvis Episcopus, quamvis Confessor et Martyr, praeter omnes, aut etiani 
contra omnes senserit, id inter proprias et occultas, et privatas opinimiculas, a com- 
munis publics ac generalis sententia? auctoritate secretum sit : ne cum summo 
a?terna3 salutis periculo, juxta sacrilegam baereticorum et scbismaticorum con- 
suetudinem, universalis dogmsiu antiqua \critate dimissa, unius bominis novitium 
sectemur errorcm." Id. ib. § 28. 


*' to judge that without all scruple to be the true and catholic 
" doctrine of the Church." (§ 29.) l 

" Necessary it is for all Catholics which desire to show thetn- 
" selves true children of their mother the Church, to adhere, stick 
" close, and hold, even to death, unto the holy faith of their holy 
" Fathers ; but to detest and abhor, pursue and drive out, the 
" profane novelties of all profane men whatsoever." (§ 33.) ~ 

These are the passages in which Vincentius has stated his 
views od the subject before us ; and we cannot but observe, that, 
in many material points, they differ from those of Dr. Pusey 
and his party. In the first place, there is not the slightest inti- 
mation that the consent of the Catholic Fathers is to be received 
as the representative of the oral teaching of the Apostles, and 
thus a divine informant, — a point which, had Vincentius held it, 
he could not have failed here to notice. 

And one of our opponents' own referees, Bishop Stillingfleet, 
tells us, that Vincentius here " speaks of such an Universal Tra- 
" dition, which depends wholly upon Antiquity, Universality, 
" and Consent ; and never so much as mentions, much less pre- 
" tends to, anything of infallibility." . . . . " Vincentius speaks of 

1 " Diximus in superioribus banc fuisso semper et esse hodieque Catholicorum 
consuetudineni, ut fidem verani duobus his modis approbent. Primuui, divini 
canonis auctoritate, deinde Ecelesiae Catholicae traditione ; non quia canon solus 
non sibi ad universa sufficiat, sed quia verba divina pro suo plerique arbitratu 
interpretantes varias opiniones erroresque concipiant, atque ideo necesse sit, ut ad 
unam Ecelesiastici sensus regulam Scripture ccelestis intelligentia dirigatur ; in iis 
duntaxat praecipue quaestionibus, quibus totius Catbolici dogmatis i'undanienta 
nituntur. Item diximus, in ipsa rursus Ecclesia universitatis pariter et antiqui- 
tatis consensionem spectari oportere, ne aut ab unitatis integritate in partem 
scbismatis abrumpamm-, aut e vetustatis religione in hsereseon novitates praeci- 
pitemur. Item diximus in ipsa Ecclesioa vetustate duo quailam vehementer 
studioseque observanda, quibus penitus inhserere deberent, quicunque ha^retici esse 
nollent. Primum si quid esset antiquitus ab omnibus Ecelesise Catholicas sacerdo- 
tibus universalis concilii auctoritate decretum. Deinde si qua nova exsurgeret 
qusestio, ubi id minime reperiretur, recurrendum ad Sanctorum Patrum sententias, 
eorum duntaxat, qui suis quique temjjoribus et locis, in unitate coinimmionis et 
fidei permanentes, magistri probabiles exstitissent ; et quidquid uno sensu atque 
consensu tenuisse invenireutur, id Ecclesia) verum et catbolicum absque ullo 
scrupulo judicai-etiu-." Id. ib. § 29. 

2 " Xecesse est profecto omnibus deinceps catbolicis, qui scse Ecelesiae matris 
legitimos filios probai-e student, ut sanctae sanctorum Patrum fidei inhgereaut, 
adglutinentnr, immoriantur, proplianas vero prophanorum novitates detestentur. 
horrescant, insectentm, persequantur." Id. ib. § 33. 


" such a kind of Tradition as hath no connexion with infalli- 
" bility. For, if Vincentius had even in the least thought of 
" any such thing, so great and zealous an opposer of heresies 
" could not have left out that which had been more to his pur- 
" pose than all that he had said." 1 

Nay, it is obvious, that he did not trace their consent to this 
source ; for he says, — " The holy and catholic consent of which 
" blessed Fathers, lest any man think that he may rashly con- 
" temn, the Apostle saith, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, 
" e And some verily hath God set in his Church, first Apostles/ 
" of which himself was one : f secondly, prophets/ as Agabus 
" was, of whom we read in the Acts : ' thirdly, doctors,' which 
" now are called expounders ; whom, also, this Apostle sometime 
" nameth prophets; because, by them, are expounded and 
" declared to the people the mysteries of the prophets ; these, 
u therefore, divinely disposed and placed in the Church of God, 
u at divers times and sundry places, agreeing all in one mind in 
" Christ, touching the understanding of Catholic doctrine, who- 
" soever contemneth, doth not contemn man, but God." (§ 28. )' 2 
In this passage we may clearly see the ground upon which he 
rests the claims of that consent of which he speaks. 

Moreover, he warns us, in a passage already quoted, that 
" this consent is not to be sought for and followed with great 
" care by us in all the small questions of the divine law, but 
" only, or at any rate principally , in the rule of faith ;" (§ 28.) that 
is, as he says in the next section, " those questions upon which 
the foundations of the whole Catholic doctrine do depend." So 
that he who pleads consent of Fathers as determining anything beyond 
the rule of faith ; that is, according to the well-known Patristical 

1 Bp. Stillixgfleet's Eat. Grounds of Prot. Pel. Pt. 1. c. 9. pp. 278, 9. 

2 " Quorum beatoruni Patrum Sanctum Catholicumque consensum, ne quis sibi 
teinere forte contemnenduin arbitretur, ait in prima ad Corinth. Apostolus ; 
[Vide 1 Cor. xii. 28. Simil. Eph. iv. 11.] Et quosdam quidem posuit Deus in 
Ecclesia, primum Apostolos, quorum ipse unus erat : Seeundo Prophetas, qualem 
in Actibus Apostolorum iegimus Agabum : tertio, Doetores, qui Tractatores nunc 
appellantur, quos hie idem Apostolus etiam Prophetas interdum nimcupat, eo 
quod per eos Prophetarum mysteria populis aperiantur. Hos ergo hi Ecclesia 
Dei diviuitus per tempora et loca dispensatos, quisquis in sensu Catholici dogmatic 
imum aliquid in Christo sentientcs contempserit, non hominem contemnit, sud 
Demn." Id. ib. § 28. 


use of the term, the Creed, or those elementary points upon which 
the foundations of the whole Catholic faith rest, cannot quote Vin- 
centius as supporting him in so doing. How far, then, Dr. Pusey 
and his party gain any great practical benefit for their cause 
from this Treatise of Vincentius, I leave the reader to judge. 

But to this very important limitation to the use of the general 
rule, the Tractators pay no attention ; but, on the contrary, apply 
the rule continually to those cases in which we are warned by 
Yincentius not to apply it. The controversy which they have 
raised in the Church, respects, as they must be well aware, 
points to which Vincentius did not intend his rule to apply ; 
and therefore, at any rate, with the exception of the single point 
of the degree of weight due to the writings of the Fathers on 
the points of faith laid down in the antient Creeds, the 
Treatise of Vincentius is against their Patristical appeals. 

Further ; he allows, that only new heresies ought to be so 
attacked, and not those which are old ; whose authors have had 
the opportunity of corrupting the Fathers' writings. These 
latter, he admits, are to be condemned only by the authority of 
the Scriptures; or else avoided, as already condemned by General 
Councils of Catholic priests. (§ 28.) 

"What is more, and is directly opposed to the statements of 
our opponents, he affirms plainly and with reiteration, that 


u things." (§ 2, and again § 29.) And if such is the case, it 
can be only the negligence of man that prevents his obtaining a 
knowledge of what it reveals from itself. In fact, it is quite 
inconsistent with this admission to say, as Vincentius seems to 
do elsewhere, that Patristical Tradition is necessary to enable 
us to understand the faith; in which, also, he is, as we shall 
hereafter see, opposed to earlier and far better authorities, Chry- 
sostom and Augustine for instance, who unequivocally affirm, 
that Scripture is clear in all the fundamentals. 

Still further ; the general tenor of the advice here given by 
Vincentius as to our consulting the writings of the great lights 
of the Church from the beginning, to ascertain what they held 


as to the great fundamental truths of Christianity, is such as no 
sane man will dispute the propriety of. The writings of the 
most learned and pious among the Fathers are appealed to by 
men of all opinions and parties, and every man feels their sup- 
port, especially the concurrent support of a great number of 
them, to be the strongest confirmatory argument for the truth, 
next to Scripture, though at an immeasurable distance. 

Hence, the rule of Vincentius as to the mode of ascertaining 
catholic consent has been frequently quoted and approved by 
Protestant writers; who, however, are not answerable for all 
that he may have said in his treatise; and as fur as the rule can 
be applied, it is a very good and useful one ; but as to that con- 
sent which fully answers his description, we say with Bishop 
Stillingfieet, "Wise men who have thoroughly considered of 
" Vincentius his way, though in general they cannot but ap- 
" prove of it so far as to think it highly improbable that there 
" should be Antiquity, Universality, and Consent against the 
" true and genuine sense of Scripture, yet when they consider 
" this way of Vincentius, with all those cautions restrictions 
" and limitations set down by him, they are apt to think that 


" anything according to his rules; and that St. Augustine 
" spake a great deal more to the purpose, when he spake concern- 
" ing all the writers of the Church, that although they hud never 
" so much learning and sanctity, he did not think it true because 
" they thought so, but because they persuaded him to believe it 
" true, either from the authority of Scripture, or some probable 
" reason." 1 Nevertheless, it is evident, that to nothing less 
than a consent which answers his description are we entitled to 
attribute, upon his authority, the weight which he attaches only 
to that of which he speaks. 

The only point, then, in which Vincentius can be appealed to 
as supporting the views of the Tractators, is the authority he 
attributes to a certain concurrent testimony of Fathers on points 
entering into what he calls the rule of faith ; and the question is, 
are we to suppose that he held such consent to be binding 
upon the conscience, or only a strong persuasive argument ? I 

1 Bp. Stilling fleet's Grounds of Prot. Bel. Pt. i. c. 9. p. 279. 


willingly admit, that of the authority of such consent he has 
spoken in strong terms, but then it must be remembered, that 
he is speaking to the professed members of his own communion, 
and his meaning may be no more than this, — that if they Avished 
to belong to that communion, their belief, as it respected funda- 
mental points, must agree with those of the received doctors of 
that communion. That communion he of course called, as he 
considered it to be, the Church. But would he have addressed 
others in the same way? Would he have said to them, The 
consent of those whom I call the orthodox Fathers has authority 
over your faith as containing the substance of a divine revela- 
tion ? I do not believe that he would. And if he had, of this I 
am sure, that the earlier Fathers would not have done so; of 
which we have one direct proof in the case of Augustine, already 
mentioned, who, in reasoning with Maximums, gives up the 
binding authority even of the Council of Nice. Indeed, the 
absurdity of the thing is evident. For the question is, which 
is the orthodox doctrine in the fundamentals of Christianity ? 
And the wise plan here suggested for determining it would 
then be, that we must abide by the decision of the orthodox. 
AVhich leaves us just as much at a loss as ever. For, how are 
we to know who the orthodox are, if we do not know what the 
orthodox doctrine is ? And nothing is gained by taking for 
granted what involves the very thing to be proved, viz. which 
are the orthodox. 

And we cannot but observe, that there is one striking differ- 
ence between his Treatise and the observations of the earlier 
Fathers upon the same subject; and that is, the want of any 
reference to Spiritual teaching. In a Treatise written to instruct 
men how to preserve themselves from the contagion of heresy, 
not a hint is to be found directing men to seek that Spiritual 
teaching, which alone will lead them into any saving know- 
ledge of the truth, and the necessity of which is so strongly 
insisted on by the earlier Fathers, as we shall, presently, abun- 
dantly show. 

Amid all his protestations of regard for the Fathers, he seems 
wholly to have forgotten their observations respecting the ex- 
pectation we are encouraged to entertain, that God will acconi- 


pany the reading of his own word with a blessing, which he has 
not promised to the writings of men, and that the Holy Spirit 
is promised to lead the earnest and sincere inquirer to the know- 
ledge of the meaning of his own word. 

And however inconvenient it may be, that men should support 
the vagaries of their own brains under the idea that the Spirit 
of God has taught them that such is the meaning of the word 
of God, will the Tractators guarantee us, that none of those who 
conduct their inquiry upon their principles, shall weary us with 
the vagaries of other men's brains ? Men are at least as likely, 
I think, to take up unfounded notions from a reliance upon 
Patristical Tradition, as from a reliance upon the promised aid 
of God's Holy Spirit in the humble and sincere perusal of 

Lastly, it should not be forgotten, that there is strong reason 
to suppose, that this Treatise of Vincentius was written for the 
purpose of supporting Semipelagianism. That Vincentius was 
a Semipelagian is tolerably clear, and that he wrote a Semipela- 
gian work against Augustine ; l and these views were apparently 
held in common with him by the monks of his monastery. - 
Now the Semipelagians defended themselves on the ground that 
they had Antiquity on their side, and brought against Augustine 
the charge of novelty ; 3 and, consequently, in all probability, 
this work, written professedly to show that Antiquity was to be 
followed, and novelty avoided, was written merely to aid his 
party in this controversy. 

It appears to me, that there is much truth in the following 
observations of the learned Dr. Rainoldes on this subject, in 
his Conference with Hart, whom I quote, not as an authority, 
but as a witness worthy for his learning to be heard on such 
a point. 

" I liked," he says, "his [i. e. Vincentius' s] judgment in 
" the general point touching the sufficiency and perfectness of 
" Scriptures, which I know you like not, though you make greater 
" semblance of liking him than I. If in the particulars I mislike 
" somewhat, let the blame be laid upon the blameworthy ; not 

* Cave, Hist. Lit. vol. i. j.. 125. 2 Cave, ibid. 

3 See Frost*, ad August. Ep., and Cave. 


" me who stand to that which he hath spoken well, but him who 
" falleth from it. For, laying his foundation as it were on a 
" rock, lie buildeth up his house beside it on the sand. That 
" Scripture is sufficient alone against heretics, so that it be 
" taken in the right sense expounded by the rules of the Catholic 
" faith ; this hath he well avouched as on the rock of God's 
" word. But, that the rules of faith and sense of the Scrip - 
" ture must be tried and judged by the Consent, Antiquity, and 
" Universality of the Church, this hath he added not so well as 
" on the sand of men's opinions. The difference of the points 
" may be perceived by St. Austin, who, joining in the former 
" of them with Vincentius, doth leave him in the latter. For 
" Austin, as he setteth the ground of religion in the right sense 
" and Catholic meaning of the Scripture, so teacheth he, that 
" this must be known and tried by the Scripture itself, the 
" infallible Rule of truth, not by the fickle minds of men. 
" (De Doctr. Christ, ch. 2. div. 2.) And to have taught hereof as 
" Austin doth, it had agreed best with the foundation of Vin- 
" centius ; which maketh the rule of Scriptures alone sufficient 
" for all things. But because the weaker and ruder sort of 
" Christians have not skill to know the right exposition of 
" Scripture from the wrong, therefore he, tempering himself to 
<{ their infirmity, doth give them outward sensible marks to 
" know it by. Wherein he dealeth with them as if a philosopher, 
" having said that a man is a reasonable creature, should, be- 
" cause his scholars cannot discern of reason, (whereof the show 
11 is such in many brute beasts, that some have thought them 
" reasonable) describe him more plainly by outward marks and 
" accidents, as namely, that he hath two feet and no feathers. 
" They report that Plato defined a man so : a man is a living 
" creature, two-footed, unfeathered. For which definition, when 
" he was commended, Diogenes took a capon, and having 
" plucked his feathers off, did bring him in to the school of 
" Plato, saying, This is Plato's man. The holy word of God is 
" the same in the Church that reason is in a man. Whereupon 
" we give it for an essential mark, as I may term it, of the 
" Church, by which the Church is surely known and discerned. 
" But the show of God's word is such in many heretics, as of 


" reason in brute beasts, that some who have no skill to discern 
" that mark, do think it impossible to know the Church by it. 
" Your fellows hereupon describe the Church by outward and 
" accidental marks, as namely, by Antiquity, Succession, Con- 
" sent. These are very plausible, and many do commend them 
" highly. But he that hath half an eye of a philosopher, I 
" mean a wise Christian, need not play Diogenes in plucking 
" feathers off to show that these marks may agree to a 
" capon." 1 

These are the observations of a man pre-eminently learned, 
and one therefore whose testimony on such a point, i. e. as to 
the uncertainty of the evidence afforded by what passes under 
the name of Antiquity, Succession, and Consent, is entitled to 
great regard. And the mistakes and misrepresentations of Vin- 
centius in the application of his own rule, (in his observations, 
for instance, as to Agrippinus and Nestorius, to which we have 
already referred in former parts of this work,) are alone sufficient 
to make us cautious in the matter. 

Salvian. (ft. a. 440. 

" If," says Salvian, "you wish to know, what is to be held, 
you have the Sacred Scriptures to refer to." 2 

" Condemn me, if I shall not show, that the Holy Scriptures 
also have affirmed that which T assert." 3 

" The teaching of the Evangelical volumes is full of every 
kind of perfection." 4 

Prosper. (11. a. 444.) 

Prosper, giving a figurative interpretation to those words, 
u who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain," (Ps. civ. 2.) or 

1 Rainoldes' Conference with Hart, ed. 1581. pp. 191 — 3. 

2 " Si scire vis quid tenendum sit, babes litems sacras." Salvian. P/e Gubcrn. 
Dei, lib. iii. Op. ed. Par. 1669. p. 42. 

3 " Condemns, si id quod asscro non otiam Scripturas sacras dixisse monsfra- 
vero." Id. ib. lib. iv. p. 85. 

4 " Evangelieorum voluininum pieman omni pcrfoctionis genere doctrinam." 
Id. ib. lib. iii. p. 45. 


skin, as he translates it, says, — " that the Holy Scripture is 
" called heaven, the authority of which God at the beginning 
" placed as a firmament in his Church, and which, by the 
tc ministry of preachers, he extended as a skin over the whole 
" world." 1 An interpretation whimsical enough doubtless, but 
showing nevertheless the view he took of the exclusive claims of 

And in another work passing under his name, it is said, 
" What, therefore, may be the causes of these differences under 
" the same dispensation of grace, or what the reasons, who shall 
" say, since the Holy Scriptures do not say ? " 2 

Cosmas Indicopleustes. (fl. a. 535.) 

" It behoveth not a perfect Christian," saith Cosmas, " to at- 
" tempt to confirm anything from those [writings] that are 
" doubted of, the canonical and commonly received Scriptures 
" explaining all things sufficiently, both concerning the heavens 
" and the earth and the elements, and every doctrine received by 
" Christians." 3 And surely such a man, who had travelled far and 
wide, was likely, if any, to take a catholic view of the matter. 

Gregory, (fl. a. 590.) 

We close our list with the celebrated Gregory. 

Commenting on Job xxviii. 1. " There is a vein for the 

1 " ' Extendens eceluni sicut pellein.' Si figuratam significationcm 

ndnitamur inspiciere, invenimus extendere Deum ccelura sicut pellein, cum 
inteUigimna Sanctam Scripturam coelum appellatum, cujus auctoritatem primo 
quasi firmamentuin in Eeclesia sua posuit, et quam super oinnem orbem terra- 
rum per ministeria prsedicantium quasi pellcm extendit.'' Peosper. Aquit. In 
Psalm, ciii. [al. civ.] Op. ed. Par. 1711. col. 382. 

2 " Qua) itaque causa? sint harum sub eadem gratia dissimilitudinum, quawe 
rationes, Sanctis Scripturis nou loquentibus quis loquetur?" De vocat. gent, 
lib. ii. c. 9. Op. col. 895. This work, however, is supposed by Vossius to 
have been written by Prosper Aitrelianexsis, who lived at the beginning of 
the next century. (See Cave.) The reader may, therefore, if he please, refer 
it to that period. 

3 Ov xp$i ovv rbv re\itov xp l(rTlav ^ )V * K T ^ >v afupiffaWoiAtvccv iiri(TTT)pl^€CT6ai, 
Tiiiu tv8ia9iTU'f Kal koivus L'\oyrjixtvwv ypa<p5>v ikclvws iravra fxrjvvovTccy, irepi 
re tu>v ohpavwv Kal ttjs yrjs Kal rwv ffTotxfiw, Kal iravrbs tov SSy/naros rSiv Xpicr- 
Tiava>v. C'OSM. Ixdic. T)e iftmdo, lib. vii. in MojfTPATJC. Coll. Nov. Script. Paris. 
1706. vol. ii. p. 292. 


silver, and a place for gold where they fine it," he says, — " By 
" silver, eloquence, by gold, celebrity of life or wisdom, is 
" usually designated. And since the heretics so boast of the 
" beauty of their eloquence, that they care not to strengthen 
" themselves by the authority of the sacred books, (which books 
" are as certain veins of silver in respect to what we say, since 
"from them we derive what we say,) he recalls them to the pages 
" of sacred authority, that if they wish to speak the truth, they 
" ought to take from thence what they say. And he says, ' The 
" silver has the sources of its veins ;' as if he were clearly 
" to say, He who would prepare himself to preach the true 
" gospel, must take the grounds of his arguments from the sacred 
"pages, that he may reduce everything he says to the foundation 
" of divine authority, and upon it build the edifice of his speech." l 
And to Scripture he sends us as the Judge of controversies. 

" A man full of right faith collects together those very 

" testimonies of Holy Scripture which the heretic produces, 

" and thence refutes his error When we overcome the 

" heretics, boasting and bringing against us sentences of Holy 
" Scripture, by the same words and sentences which they 
" adduce, we as it were behead the proud Goliath with his own 
" sword. Therefore the just man is clothed with those gar- 
" ments which the unjust prepares ; because the holy man uses 
" the same passages in support of the truth by which every 
" perverse heretic endeavours to show himself learned against 
" the truth."" 

1 Job xxviii. 1. "' Habet argentuin, venaruru suarurn principia; et auro locus 
est in quo conflatur.' In argento eloquium, in auro vitae vol sapiential claritas 
designari solet. Et quia bseretici sic de eloquii sui nitore superbiunt, ut nulla 
sacrorum librorum auctoritate solidentur, (qui libri ad loquendmn nobis quasi 
quaedain argenti venae sunt, quia de ipsis locutionis nostras originem trabinius) 
eos ad sacrae auctoritatis paginas revocat : ut si vere loqui desiderant, inde suuiere 
debeant quid loquantur. Et ait, ' Habet argentuin, venaruru suarum principia.' 
Ac si aperte dicat ; Qui ad vera prtedicationis verba se prseparat, necesse est ut 
causarum origines a sacris paginis sumat, ut omne quod loquitivr, ad divina? aucto- 
ritatis fundamentum revocet, atque in eo a'dificium locutionis sua? firmet." 
Grkgou. Magx. Moral, she Expos, in Job. lib. xviii. c. 26. Op. ed. Eened. Par. 
1705. torn. i. col. 573. 

- "Vir recta fide plenus ea ipsa Scxipturffl sacrpe qua; ba?reticus affert 

tcstimonia colligit, et erroris ejus pertinaciam inde convincit com superli- 

entes bcereticos et sacra; Scriptura? sententias deferentGB cisdeui atque 

VOL. III. ? 


Moreover, in his view, Scripture declares the whole faith ; for 
"by it/' he says, "God speaks all he desires." 1 "In this 
" volume, all things that edify, all things that instruct, are con- 
" tained in writing." 2 

Again, commenting on the passage, "They dwell by the 
abundant rivers," he says, — " While they adhere altogether to 
" the directions of Scripture, so as to do nothing but what the 
" Scriptures exhort, they as it were evade the enemy, by throw - 
" ing themselves into the water. And they [i. e. the Scriptures] 
" are called abundant rivers, because on whatsoever points of 
" difficulty counsel is sought in the Scriptures, it is found there 
" fully on all points, without any deficiency." 3 

" Elihu, foreseeing that God would form the Holy Scripture, 
" that in it he might reply to both the public and private ques- 
" tions of all, says, f Do you contend with him for not having 
" answered all your words ? God will speak once, and will not 
" a second time repeat the same thing/ As if he should say, 
" God answers not the hearts of each individual by secret 
" words, but constructs such a speech as that by it he may 
" satisfy the questions of all. To wit in the declarations of his 
" Scripture we each, if we seek, find what we are inquiring 
" for." 4 

" What, indeed, is the Holy Scripture, but a Letter of the 

sententiis quas proferunt vincimus, quasi elatum Goliani suo gladio detruncamus. 
Justus ergo vestitur eis vestimentis quae praeparat injustus; quia vir sauctus 
eisdeui sententiis ad veritatem utitur, quibus se perversxis quisque docturn osteu- 
dere contra veritatem conatur." Id. Moral, sive Exp. in Job. c. xxvii. w. 16, 17. 
lib. xviii. c. 16. tom. i. eol. 566, 7. 

1 "Per earn [i. e. Smpturamj Deus loquitur omne quod vult." Id. ibid. lib. 
xvi. c. 35. tom. i. col. 517. 

2 " In boc volumine cuncta quae sedificant, omnia qua? erudiunt, scripta conti- 
nentur." Id. In Ezecb. lib. i. horn. 9. ad fin. tom. i. col. 1264. 

3 "'Resident juxta fluenta plenissima' Dum se consiliis Scripturae ex 

toto addicunt, ut videlicet nihil agant, nisi quod ex responso Scripturaruua audiunt, 
quasi in aquam se projicientes hosti illudunt. Quae fluenta plenissima dicuntur, 
quia de quibuscumque scrupubs in Scripturis consuium quaeritur, sine minora- 
tione de omnibus ad plenum invenitur." 'Id. In Cant. c. 5. ver. 12. tom. iii. P. 2. 
col. 440. 

4 " Eliu autem pra?videns quod Scripturain sacram Dominus conderet, ut in ea 
vel publicis vel occultis cunctorum quaestionibus responderet, ait, ' Adversus eum 
contendis, quod non ad omnia verba responderit tibi. Semel loquetur Deus, et 
secundo id ipsum non repetet.' Ac si diceret, — Deus singulorum cordibus privatis 


" omnipotent God to his creature ? Study, therefore, I 

" beseech you, and daily meditate upon the words of your 
" Creator ; learn the mind of God in the words of God." l 



I now proceed to consider the testimony of the Fathers on 
the question, Whether Scripture is the sole divine Rule of 

That it is so on all matters necessary to salvation, the passages 
we have already quoted in the last section, are, I hope, amply 
sufficient to prove to have been the general opinion of the Fathers, 
and one which they very earnestly insisted upon. 

But, as it respects the question whether there are any rites or 
practices among non-essentials, not mentioned in Scripture, 
which have an indubitable right to be considered as of Apostolical 
institution, and a proportionate claim upon our regard, I admit 
that some of the Fathers appear occasionally inclined to support 
the affirmative. 

Nevertheless, even here we maintain, first, that some of them 
have distinctly advocated the view for which we contend ; and 
secondly, that others who appear in some parts of their writings 
to take the opposite view, have elsewhere so modified those state- 
ments, as to leave their testimony, upon the whole, but little 
different, to all practical purposes, from that of the former ; and 
lastly, that, even were it not so, our opponents, both Romanists 
and Tractators, could not consistently maintain, that such (sup- 
posed) Apostolical traditions are obligatory on us, because they 
do not themselves adopt them all. 

vocibus non respondet, sed tale eloquiurn construit per quod cunctorum qiuesti- 
onibus satisfaciat. In Scriptural quippe ejus eloquio causas nostras singuli, si 
requirimus, invenimus." Id. Moral, sive Expos, in Job. lib. xxiii. c. 19. torn. i. 
col. 747. 

1 " Quid est auteni Scriptura sacra nisi quscdam Epistola omnipotentis Dei ad 

creaturarn suam ? Stude ergo, quseso, et quotidie Creatoris tui verba medi- 

tare ; disce cor Dei in verbis Dei." Id. Epist. lib. iv. Ep. 31. ad Theodorum 
Medicum. torn. ii. col. 712. 

p 2 


First, then, we maintain, that some of the Fathers distinctly 
advocate the view, that in all points Holy Scripture is the sole 
divine Rule of practice. 

For instance the testimony of 

Cyprian (fl. a. 24S.) 

to this is plain and distinct ; as appears by the extracts already 
given from his writings in a preceding part of this volume. 1 So 
clear, indeed, is his testimony, that a learned Roman Catholic 
writer finds fault, as we have seen, with some of his own com- 
munion for quoting him as favorable to the Romish view of the 
question ; confessing, that " Cyprian acknowledged no other Tra- 
dition than ivhat is contained in the Scriptures." 3 

And to Cyprian we may, I think, without hesitation add — 

Firmilian of Cesarea. (fi. a. 233.) 

Firmilian, in his Letter to Cyprian, 3 very strongly expresses his 
approval of what Cyprian had written to Stephen, Bishop of Rome, 
on the question of rebaptization, as quoted above ; 4 and ridicules 
the plea of Stephen that their customs at Rome were derived 
from Apostolical Tradition, as one evidently contradicted by 
fact; 5 and, having, as he thinks, proved from Scripture, that 
the practice he followed was the right one, he says, " Who is so 
" vain as to prefer custom to truth ?" 6 adding, " But we to 
" truth join also custom, and to the custom of the Romans 
" oppose custom ; but the custom of truth ; holding this to have 
" been from the beginning which was delivered by Christ and the 
" Apostles ; " 7 i. e. in the Scriptures, to which he had been 
referring. " Nor do we recollect," he says, " that this had any 
beginning with us, since it was always observed here." 8 

1 Sec pp. 60 — 67 above. 

2 See p. 65 above. 

3 Inter Cypriani Erist. ep. 75, init. 

4 See pp. 60—62 above. 

& See the passage quoted above, vol. i. pp. 317, 318, and 408. 

6 " Quis tarn vanus sit, ut veritati consnetudinem praeferat." lb. 

7 See above, vol. i. p. 316. 

8 See ib. 


Putting these passages together (and we have only this one 
Epistle to judge from), it seems tolerably clear, that Firmilian's 
view on the point now in question, was the same as that of 
Cyprian ; especially when we observe, that while he claimed 
immemorial usage in favor of the custom in his own parts, he 
did not place its observance on that ground, but on the direc- 
tions of Scripture. 

That the name of Apostolical Tradition was mistakenly 
pleaded for practices in use in the Primitive Church, others 
of the Fathers will tell us, as we have already had occasion to 
notice in the case of the controversy as to the observance of 
Easter ; l and Irenaeus admits, that this might arise from 
some bishops being negligent, and allowing that to go down to 
posterity as a custom, which was introduced through simplicity 
and ignorance. 2 

And hence men of experience and judgment among them 
saw the necessity of Scripture-proof in such matters, before any- 
thing could be confidently affirmed to have sprung from Aposto- 
lical Tradition, as we see in the testimony of another witness in 
our favor among the Fathers, whose " peculiar judgment and 
diligence " are praised, both by the Romanist Valesius, and our 
own Cave, namely, 

Socrates the Historian. (n. a. 439.) 

Speaking of the difference in the Church as to the time of ob- 
serving Easter, some saying that their custom was derived from 
John, others theirs from Peter and Paul, Socrates adds, — "But 
" none of these can show a Scrij)tural demonstration concerning 
" these things. I thence conjecture, therefore, that the feast of 
" Easter is observed in each place rather from some custom." 
And a little further on, he says, — " And since no one can show a 
" Scriptural command concerning this, it is manifest, that, even 
" with respect to this matter, the Apostles committed it to the 
" opinion and choice of each individual." :? 

1 See above, vol. i. pp. 30G — 312; and Koutu. Beliq. Sacr. vol. i. pp. 391 et seq. 
See, also, Dioxts. Axex. Ep. Canon, in Kouth. Beliq. Sacr. vol. ii. pp. 3S5 et Beq. 
- See above, vol. i. pp. 308 and 408. 
3 'AAA.' vubus /j-iu TovToof tyypa<pov ex e < napa^x**" T hv 7re P' tovtwv a.ir6$ii(ti'. 


We have here, then, sufficient testimony to show us, that the 
view for which we contend, has good and able witnesses in its 
behalf among the early Fathers. 

Nor can I pass on without reminding the reader of the re- 
markable passage already quoted from 

Gregory of Nyssa, (fl. a. 370.) 

in which he puts forward the Rule of Scripture as our guide in 
matters of practice, in a way which is totally inconsistent with 
the views of our opponents. l 

Still further, we may observe, secondly, that of those who 
appear in some parts of their writings to take the opposite view, 
some have elsewhere so modified their testimony, as to leave it 
upon the whole but little different, to all practical purposes, 
from that of the former. 

Such is the case, certainly, with 

Jerome, (fl. a. 378.) 
" As to your inquiry," he says, " respecting the Sabbath, 
" whether we ought to fast on it ; and respecting the Eucharist, 
" whether it is to be received daily, a practice the Church of 
" Rome and that of Spain are reported to observe, Hippolytus, 
" a most eloquent man, has also written .... But I think that 
" you should be briefly admonished, that ecclesiastical tradi- 
" tions, especially those which do not affect the faith, are so to 
" be observed as they are delivered by our ancestors ; and that 
" the custom of some is not to be overthrown by the contrary 
" custom of others .... but let every province abound in its own 
" views, and esteem the precepts of its ancestors to be Apostolical 
" laws." 3 

3ti fjLivroi e'/c (TvyqOdas nvhs fiaWou Kara x^P as GirireXeirai tov XlaffX"- «o/)T7), 

tKudev reK/xaipo/nai Kal eireiS?; ovSels wepl tovtov tyypa<poy l?x € ' 8e?|ou 

■KapayyeXfia, Sr/Xou ws Kal irep] tovtov ttj kK&o~Tov yvc£(j.r) Kai irpoatptaei iireTpetyau 
ot ' Air6o-ro\oi. Socrat. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 22. Inter Hist. Eccles. Grsec. ed. 
Beading, vol. ii. pp. 294, 5. See the whole passage more fully quoted, vol. i. 
pp. 309—312. 

1 See p. 144 above. 

2 " De Sabbatho quod qutcris, utrum jejunandum sit; et de Eucharistia, an ac- 
cipienda quotidie, quod Romana Ecclesia et Hispanise observare perhibentur, 
scripsit quidem et Hippolytus vir disertissimus, et carptim diversi Scriptores e 


This passage, I suspect, furnishes us with a key to the whole 
matter. In points of ecclesiastical order which did not affect 
the faith, it was on many accounts desirable, that the scruples 
or perverseness of individuals, should not interfere with matters 
that had been sanctioned by long usage in the Church, the 
peace of the Church being thereby greatly endangered. There- 
fore, says Jerome, let each province follow the customs which 
have long obtained in it, even though they may be contrary to 
what are observed in other provinces ; and let each look upon 
such customs as Apostolical laws. In these words the aposto- 
licity of such matters is evidently not insisted upon as what 
could be strictly proved, but as what, for the sake of the peace 
of the Church, might, in a general sense, be allowed, where no 
evil could arise to the faith from the admission. To the sen- 
timents of Jerome, as here expressed, we are far from being 
desirous of offering any objection ; but, on the contrary, believe 
that there was much good sense in the advice. And I suspect 
that many of the Fathers, when they spoke of Apostolical tradi- 
tions in such matters, took the same view of the subject. 

That such, or very similar, was also the view of 

Augustine, (fl. a. 396.) 

is, I think, evident on a review and comparison of various pas- 
sages in his works. For though, when writing on the question 
of the rebaptization of those baptized by heretics, he says, 
" Many things which are not found in the writings of the 
" Apostles, nor in the Councils of those who came after them ; 
" yet, inasmuch as they are observed throughout the Universal 
" Church, are believed to have been delivered and commended 
" to observation, by no others than by them ;" l and that " that 
" which the Universal Church holds, and was not instituted by 
" Councils, but always preserved, is most rightly believed to 

variis auctoribus edidere. Sed ego illud breviter te adinonendum puto, tradi- 
tiones ecclesiasticas (pra?sertim quae fidei non officiant) ita observandas, ut a nia- 
joribus tradita? sunt ; nee aliorum consuetudinem aliorum contrario more subverti 

sed unaquseque provincia abundet in sensu suo, et praecepta majoruni 

leges Apostolicas arbitretur." Hiebo>". Lucin. ep. 71. ad Jin. Op. torn, 
i. col. 434, 5. 

1 " Multa qua? non inveniuntur in litteris eoruin [i. e. Apostolorum], neque-in 


" have been delivered by no other than Apostolical authority;" 1 
yet, nevertheless, as Bishop Taylor says, — " It seems, himself 
' was not sure, that so little a foundation could cany so big a 
' weight ; he therefore plainly hath recourse to Scripture in this 
' question ; ' Whether is more pernicious, not to be baptized, 
1 or to be re-baptized, is hard to judge ; nevertheless, having 
' recourse to the standard of our Lord, where the monuments 
1 of this are not estimated by human sense, but by divine 
1 authority, I find concerning each of them the sentence of our 
' Lord/ (Contr. Don. lib. iv. c. 14, etc. 17 and 24), to wit, in 
1 the Script ures." ~ And so, still more strongly in another 
passage, Augustine says, " Lest I should seem to treat the 
' matter with human arguments, since the obscurity of this ques- 
1 tion drove great men, in former times of the Church, before 
' the schism of Donatus, and men endued with much Christian 

c charity, episcopal Fathers, to differ from one another, &c 

1 I produce from the Gospel certain proofs, by which, the Lord 
( helping me, I prove how rightly and truly, according to the 
1 Divine will, it has been ordained," Sec. 3 And so far is he 
from disapproving of Cyprian's reference to Scripture in the 
question, that he says, — " But what Cyprian advises, namely, 
" that we must go back, to the fountain head, that is, to Apo- 
" stolical Tradition, — and thence direct the stream to our own 
" times, is the best, and without doubt to be done. It is, 
" therefore, delivered to us, as he himself relates, by the 
" Apostles, that there is one God, and one Christ, and one 
"hope, &c. [Eph. iv. 4.] ; ' 4 And he says, " That which the 

conciliis posterioruni, et tamen quia per universaiu custodiuntur Eeclesiam, non 
nisi abipsia tradita et oommendata creduntur." August. De bapt. contra Donat. 
lib. ii. c. 7. ix. col. Iu2. 

1 " Quod universa tenet Ecclesia, nee conciliis institutum, sed semper retentuin 
est. nun nisi auctoritate Apostolica tradituui rectissirne creditur," Id. ib. lib. iv. 
ft 21. ix. 1-40. 

- Bp. Tayioe's Works, vol. x. p. 433, 434 

8 August. De bapt. contra Donat. lib. i. c. 7. torn. ix. col. 84. See above, 
vol.i. p. 322. 

4 " Quod autem nos aduionet, at ad fontem reenrranras, id est, ad Apostolicam 

traditioneni, et inde eanalem in nostra tempora dirigamus, optimum est, et sine 

dubitatione faciendum. Traditum est ergo nobis, sicut ipse coiinneniorat, ab 

lis, good sit uims Deus, et Cliristus ujuis, &c. [Epb. iv. 4.]" Id. De bapt. 

contra Don. lib. v. c. 26. ix. 158. 


" custom of the Church hath ever held, that which this disputa- 
" tion cannot d'-sincline us to, and that which a General Council 
" has confirmed, that we follow. Add to this, that the reasons 
" and testimonies of Scripture adduced on both sides having been 
" well weighed, it may also be said, That which truth has de- 
" dared, that we follow/' 1 It seems, then, that after all, the 
burthen of proof, as to the Apostolicity of the custom, was thrown 
by him upon Scripture; which shows the misgivings of his mind 
as to the sufficiency of the other evidence. 

And this view of his sentiments seems to me strongly con- 
firmed by a remark he makes in his Letter to Casulanus, where, 
on the question of fasting on the Sabbath, he says, " In these 
" things in which the divine Scripture has determined nothing 
" certain, the custom of the people of God, or the institutes of 
" our ancestors, are to be considered as a law." 2 Here it is 
evident, that, for matters of this kind not determined in Scrip- 
ture, he claims no other sanction than that which long ecclesi- 
astical usage gives them ; and such usage he justly thinks that 
individuals should reckon equivalent to a law. Upon the whole, 
then, his view seems to differ but little, if at all, practically from 
that which we maintain. There are no references to be found in 
Augustine to "precious Apostolical relics," demanding "the 
same reverence" from us as the written Word. 

Finally, we must remark, that, even were the testimony of 
these Fathers different from what it is, our opponents, both 
Romanists and Tractators, could not consistently maintain, that 
such (supposed) Apostolical traditions are obligatory on the 
Church, because they do not themselves adopt them all. 

I have already given some proofs of this ; 3 and more might 
easily be added, as will hardly, I suppose, be denied. I will not, 

1 " Quod Ecclesiae consuetudo semper tenuit, quod hsec disputatio dissuadere 
non potuit, et cpaod plenarium concilium confirmavit, hoc sequinmr. Hue accedit, 
quod bene perspectis ex utroque latere disputationis rationibus et Scripturarum 
testimonies, potest etiam dici, Quod Veritas declaravit, hoc sequimur.'' Id. De hapt. 
contra Don. lib. iv. c. 6. ix. 126. 

2 "In hisenim rebus de quibus nihil certi statuit Bcriptura divina, mos populi 
Dei vel majoruin pro lege tenenda sunt." Id. Epist. ad Casulan. ep. 36. 
(al. 86.) § 2. ii. 68. 

3 See above, vol. i. pp. 3 1 J7, 398. 


therefore, detain the reader by enumerating other instances. 
But it clearly follows from hence, either that they do not con- 
sider Patristical testimony sufficient to prove the Apostolical 
origin of these practices, — which is in direct contradiction to 
their professed theory, — or that they hold, that, even if they 
were of Apostolical origin, the Church, or any independent 
portion of it, has power to deviate from them ; which practically 
leaves the matter much in the same state as the view for which 
we contend. "We do not deny the possibility, that some of the 
rites now in use in the Church, of those not mentioned in Scrip- 
ture, may have had Apostolical sanction for their introduction, 
as for instance the use of the sign of the cross in baptism, though 
we believe that we have no sufficient evidence to prove the Apo- 
stolicity of any of them ; and we hold that the Church, or each 
independent Church, has the power of ordering such matters 
according to its own discretion, and that individuals ought, for 
the sake of the peace of the Church, to acquiesce in its decisions. 
The advice, therefore, of Jerome, that individuals should, in such 
matters, look upon the customs of their Church that have come 
down to them from of old as equivalent to Apostolical usages, 
and the similar advice of Augustine, appear to us to have — in 
their due place, and within their due limits, — much practical 
wisdom. And it would, perhaps, have been well for the Church, 
if the remark of Gregory the Great had been more borne in mind 
by all parties, that " while the faith is one and the same, a dif- 
ference of customs is no injury to the Church." 1 If, then, any 
one chooses to contend for the Apostolicity of any particular 
practice or practices sanctioned by very early and general eccle- 
siastical usage, but at the same time allows, that these things 
are left to the discretion of each independent Church, the prac- 
tical result is much the same as in the former view of the matter. 
But if we are bound, as our opponents seem to think, to observe 
all those practices that had Apostolical sanction for their ob- 
servance in the Primitive Church, and the testimony of a few 
of the early Fathers is held sufficient to prove that sanction ; or 
even if we are only required to observe those that are said to 

1 " In una fide nihil officit sanctae Ecclesia? consuctudo diversa." Gbegob. 
Magn. Ep. ad Leandr. Epist. lib. i. 43. ; Op. ed. Ben. ii. 532. 


have been delivered by the Apostles as of permanent obligation, 
and the testimony of a few Fathers is held sufficient to prove 
such a delivery ; then if we receive one that pleases us upon a 
certain amount of testimony, we must not reject another which 
has equally good testimony in its favor, because we are dis- 
inclined to it; and if we do, we are self -condemned ; which, we 
humbly submit, is the case with the Tractators. 



We proceed to the question of the alleged obscurity of Scrip- 
ture ; and the reader will probably have already observed, that 
many of the passages cited in a former section in proof of Scrip- 
ture being our sole and complete Rule of faith, equally show, 
that the writers held, that it was a Rule perspicuous enough for 
the guidance and instruction of mankind at large. 

But we have testimonies in abundance of a more direct kind, 
to some of which (as the question is of primary importance in 
the present controversy) I shall now call the reader's attention. 

I begin with, — 

Justin Martyr, (fl. a. 140.) 

Who says, in his Conference with Trypho and his compa- 
nions, " Attend, therefore, to what I am about to call to your 
" remembrance from the Holy Scriptures, which [Scriptures] 
" do not need to be interpreted, but only to be heard." 1 And 
this is spoken with respect to those passages which prove the 
divinity of our Saviour ; and in the context the true reason is 
given, why, though they were so plain that no one could rea- 
sonably misinterpret them, the Jews did not understand them, 
viz. that because of their wickedness God had withheld from 

' TlpocrexcTe roiyapovv OLcrnep fiiWw avaixiixvr)aKftv anb toiv aylcov ypa<pu>v 
ou5e i^TjyqOiifat Seo/ifvwu, aAAct /x6vov aKovaBrjuai. JUST. Maet. Dial, cum 
Trypb. § 55. Op. ed. Ben. p. 150. (ed. Col. p. 274.) 


them the power to understand what was revealed in his word ; 
which, and not any obscurity in them, is still the true reason 
for their being misunderstood; and he who charges God's word 
with obscurity, because men of perverse minds misinterpret it, 
dishonours God, and deceives mankind. 

Again ; " For it is ridiculous for any one to see the sun and 
" the moon, and the other heavenly bodies, following always the 
" same course, and yet to make a change in his mode of reckon- 
" ing the seasons; and that an arithmetician, if asked how 
" many twice two make, because he had often said that they 
" make four, should no longer reply that they make four, &c. 
"... or, in like manner, that one who is discoursing from the 
" prophetical Scriptures should pass over those Scriptures, and 
" not always bring forward the same Scriptures, but think that 
" he himself can produce something better than the Scripture." 1 
From which we see, that he considered no language so fitted to 
teach the truth as that of Scripture. 

These passages, though we shall meet with many still more 
direct and full in many other Fathers, are such as clearly indi- 
cate the bearing of Justin's views upon these points. 

Further, it is not Tradition, but the gift of spiritual discern- 
ment, to which, according to Justin, we must look, to enable us 
to understand the mind of the Scriptures. " If, therefore," he 
savs, " any one should not, by the great grace which comes 
" from God, have received power to understand what has been 
" spoken and done by the prophets, it will avail him nothing 
" to seem to speak of their words or acts, if he cannot give any 
" account of them."- And again, still more clearly, — "Do you 

1 Te\olov fxev yap irpa.y/j.d icrrtp bpav tuv tjXlov, Kal r^v creX-fivriv, Kal ra &K\a 
&(TTpa tV avryjv bSbv atl, Kal ras rpoiras rwv wpwv iroiucrdai, Kal rbv \\iri<picrTiKbu 
&v5pa, el Qera^oLTO ra Sis Svo irSad iari, 5ia rb ttoWolkis elprjKivai on reatrapa, 
iravcreTQai rov iruKiv \eyeif on recraapa, Kal to &\Aa bfxo'iws oo~a irayiws bfj.o\o- 
yelrai, ael aiaavTois \eyeaSai Kal bfj.o\oye?o-0ar rbv 5e avb twv ypacpiiv twu irpo- 
<pi)TiKu>v bya\ias Troiov/xevov eau, Kal ^77 ras auras ael Keynv ypa(pas, a\\' iiytiaQai 
kavrbv fSeXTiov tjjs ypa<pi)S y*vvr,<ravT* ejVeij'. Id. ib. § 85. p. 182. (ed. Col. 
p. 311, 12.) 

■ Ei ovv rts M'7 M €T » fJ-eyd\r)S x<*P lT0S r ^ s ™p a Qeov \dfioi voi]ffai ra flpr)fj.eva 
nal yiytvrip.eva virb rwv irpo<pr]Twv, ohSev avrbv ovrtcrtt rb Tas privets Sokuv Aeyetv, 
$1 to. yeysvr\ixeva, el )J.r) Koyov ex il Ka ^ ni fi avrwv cbro5(5oVai. Id. ib. § 92. 
p. 189. (ed CoL p. 319. 


" think, therefore, men, that we could ever have understood 
" these things in the Scriptures, unless, through the will of 
" him who willed them, we had received grace to understand 
"them?" 1 

It is not, then, to Tradition, but to Divine grace, even the 
influence of the Holy Spirit received individually, to which Justin 
Martyr would lead us as the interpreter of the Scriptures. 

I pass on to, — 

Ire.veus. (fl. a. 167.) 

" A sound mind," says Irenseus, ef and one that is not rash, 
" but cautious, and a lover of truth, will earnestly search out 
" whatever things Gcd has placed within the power of man, 
" and subjected to our comprehension, and will advance in the 
" knowledge of them, making the knowledge of them easy to 
" itself by daily study. But these things are those that fall 
" under our sight, and as many tilings as are declared clearly and 
" unambiguously in express terms in the divine Scriptures. And 
" therefore the parables [i. e. those things that are mystically 
" expressed] ought to be explained suitably to those parts that are 
" unambiguous, for thus both he who explains, explains without 
" danger, and the parables receive a like explanation from all. 
" . . . . But it is foolish to apply those things which are spoken 
" obscurely, and not placed before our eyes, to explanations of 
" the parables, which each one makes out to mean what he. 
" pleases ; for thus no one will possess the rule of truth, but 
" there will appear to be as many truths opposed to each other, 
" and establishing contrary doctrines, as there are interpreters 
" of the parables, as is the case with the questions of the Gen- 
" tile Philosophers. So that, according to this method of pro- 
" ceeding, a man may be always seeking and never find the 
" truth, because he has rejected the proper method for disco- 

" vering it Since, therefore, all the Scriptures, both 

" Prophetic and Evangelic, may be heard by all, (though all do 
" not believe,) openly and unambiguously and alike proclaiming, 

1 OteirOe oZv i^fjias irori, S> &v8pfs, vevorinevai 8w7}8rji/ai eV tcus ypa<pats toCto, 
el fir] 6t\riiJ.a.Ti rod de\T)<ravTos avra i\d^ofj.ei/ x°-P lv T0 " voyoai ; Id. ib. § 119- 
p. 211. (ed. Col. p. 316.) 


" that the one and only God, to the exclusion of others, made 
" all things by his Word, whether they be visible or invisible, 
" or heavenly or earthly, or marine or subterranean, as we have 
" demonstrated from the very words of Scripture; — that very 
" created system in which we are, bearing witness by those 
" things which are seen, to this fact, that there is one Being 
" who made and governs it ; — they will appear very dull, who 
" blind their eyes to so clear a manifestation of the truth, and 
" are unwilling to see the light of that which is thus proclaimed 
" . . . . Since the parables can receive many explanations, who 
" that loves the truth will not confess, that to affirm anything 
" from them respecting our inquiry after God, relinquishing 
" what is certain and beyond doubt and true, is the part of rash 
" and irrational persons ? And is not this to build our house, 
" not upon a firm and strong rock, and one situated in an open 
" place, but upon the uncertain foundation of the scattered 
" sand ? Whence the overthrow of such a building is easy. 
" Having, therefore, truth itself as our rule, and the testimony re- 
" specting God placed openly before our view, we ought not to 
" cast away a firm and true knowledge concerning God by 
" interpretations of questions diverging in various directions 
" from the truth .... But if we cannot find out the explana- 
" tions of all those things which are sought in the Scriptures 

" we ought to yield such things to God who made us, 

" knowing well, that the Scriptures are perfect, as having been 
' " spoken by the Word of God and his Spirit ; but we, in pro- 
" portion as we are inferior and far removed from the Word of 
" God and his Spirit, so far do we lack the knowledge of his 
" mysteries. And it is not wonderful, if, in spiritual and hea- 
" venly things, and those things which have to be revealed, we 
" suffer this, since even of those things which are before our 
" feet, I mean the things which are in this created system, 
" which are touched by us and seen, and are with us, many 
" things have escaped our knowledge, and we leave these things 
n to God .... If, therefore, in this way which we have men- 
" tioned, we leave some questions to God, we shall both preserve 
" our faith, and persevere without danger, and all Scripture 
n given to us by God will be found by us harmonious, and the 


" parables will agree with those things which are spoken per- 
" spicuously, and the things spoken perspicuously will explain the 
" parables." l 

1 'O vyirfs vovs Kal aicivSvvos, Kal euAajS/js, Kal <ptAa\7idr]s, offa iv rfj tuv av- 
Bptiiiruiv i^ovcria SeSoiKef 6 Qebs, Kal inroreraxe tij Tj/xeTepa yvuxret, rai/ra wpo0v/j.cos 
fK/xeKiTTjcret, Kal if avrois TrpoKoipet, Sia tt)s KaOrifxepivris affKrjcreoos pafiiav ttji/ 
fj.ddr)crii' kavrcp Troiovp-tvos. 'Ectti 5e ravra, to re utt' otytv Tr'nrTovra ttjj/ rip.zTtpo.v, 
Kal Baa <pavepa>s Kal aya/x(ptl36\a>s aiiToAe^fl iv reus Beiats ypacpais KeAfKTai. Et 
ideo parabola? debent non ainbiguis adaptari : sic enirn et qui absolvit, sine 

periculo absolvit, et parabola? ab omnibus similiter absolutionem accipient 

Sed quae non aperte dicta sunt, neque ante oculos posita, [stultum est, omn. edd. 
addend, putant} copulare absolutionibus parabolarum, quas miusquisque prout 
vult adinvenit. Sic enim apud nullum erit regula veritatis ; sed quanti fuerint, 
qui absolvent parabolas, tanta* videbuntur veritates pugnantes semet invieem, et 
contraria sibimet dogmata statuentes, sicut et Gentilium philosophorum qua?s- 
tiones. Itaque secundum banc rationem, homo quidem semper inquiret, nun- 

quam autem inveniet, eo quod ipsam inventionis abjecerit disciplinam Cum 

itaque universa? Scriptura?, et Prophetia?, et EvangeUa in aperto, et sine ambi- 
guitate, et similiter ab omnibus audiri possint, etsi non omnes credunt ; unum et 
solum Deum, ad excludendos alios, prsdicent omnia fecisse per Verbum suum, sive 
visibilia, sive invisibilia, sive coelestia, sive terrena, sive aquatilia, sive subterranea, 
sicut demonstravimus ex ipsis Scripturarum dictionibus; et ipsa autem creatura 
in qua sumus, per ea qua? in aspectum veniunt, hoc ipsum testante, unum esse qui 
earn fecerit et regat : valde hebetes apparebunt, qui ad tarn lucidam adapertionem 

ca?cutiunt oculos, et nolunt videre lumen pnedicationis Quia autem parabola? 

possunt midtas recipere absolutiones, ex ipsis de inquisitione Dei affirmare, relin- 
quentes quod certum et indubitatum et verum est, valde prsecipitantium se in 
periculum, et irrationabilium esse, quis non amantium veritatem confitebitur ? 
Et nmnquid hoc est non in petra firma, et valida, et in aperto posita, a?dificare 
suam domum ; sed in incertum efrusa? arena? ? Unde et facilis est eversio 
hujusmodi a?diScationis. Habentes itaque regulam ipsam veritatem, et in 
aperto positum de Deo testimonium, non debemus per qua?stionum declinantes 
in abas atque abas absolutiones ejicere firmam et veram de Deo scientiam 

Si autem omnium qua? in Scripturis requiruntur absolutiones non 

possumus invenire cedere ha?c taba debemus Deo, qui et nos fecit, rec- 

tissime scientes, quia Scriptura? quidem perfecta? sunt, quippe a Verbo Dei et 
Spiritu ejus dicta?; nos autem secundum quod minores sumus et novissimi a 
Verbo Dei et Spiritu ejus, secundum hoc et scientia mysteriorum ejus indi- 
gemus. Et non est mirum, si in spiritalibus, et ccelestibus, et in his qua? habent 
revelari, hoc patimur nos: quandoquidem etiam eorum qua? ante pedes sunt, 
(dico autem qua? sunt in hac creatura, qua? et contrectantur a nobis, et viden- 
tur, et sunt nobiscum) multa fugerunt nostram scientiam, et Deo hac ipsa 

coinmittimus Ei ohv Kaff hv elp-tiKafxev rp6irov, ivia raw ^qTrnxa/rwv ava~ 

dtiaosfxtp rep 0e<£, Kal ttjv tt'mttiv r)/xoju 8ta(f>v\d£o[j.fv, Kal olkivSwoi dia/', Kal 
iracra ypa(pr] SeSo/ueVrj ti/uv airb @eov crvfj-ipuivos r)puv eupe0ri<rtTai, Kal at irapapoAal 
to7s 8iafyr)87iv upripevots (TvfKpwv-fiaovffL, Kal ra (pavep&s tipt)p.4va tTrikvirei ras 
vapafioAas. Ieen. Adv. ha?r. ii. 27, 28. ed. Mass. Paris. 1710. pp. 155 — 7. (ii. 46, 
47. pp. 171 — 4. ed. Grab. Oxon. 1702.) 


I have quoted this passage at length, that the reader may be 
enabled to judge better of the real force of the testimony con- 
tained in it respecting our present subject ; and it shows, I 
hope, very clearly, that the views of Irenaeus upon this point 
were very different from those of our opponents. He did not 
think it at all inconsistent, to assert that a thing was clearly 
and unambiguously laid down in the Scriptures, while he was 
compelled to admit, that all do not believe it; and he tells us, 
that the lover of truth earnestly searches out what God has 
placed within his comprehension, advancing in the knowledge of 
it by daily study, and that these things are, those things that 
fall under our sight, and those that are declared clearly and un- 
ambiguously in express terms in the divine Scriptures, and that 
these things thus perspicuously declared are to be our guide in 
interpreting those j)nrts that are obscure. 

We could ask for nothing more expressly affirming our view. 

And, as we have already seen, he reproves those who, when 
they are convicted of error by the Scriptures, find fault with the 
Scriptures, " as if they were ambiguous, and as if the truth could 
" not be found out from them by those who are ignorant of 
" Tradition j" 1 a testimony opposing, in terms, the view advanced 
by our opponents, for this is the very proposition which they 
maintain, viz. that the truth cannot be found out from the 
Scriptures by those who are ignorant of Tradition. 

Again, speaking of the four Gospels, he tells us, that they 
" breathe all around them immortality, and give life to men."' 2 
So he tells us, that the " doctrine of the Apostles and their 
" disciples [i. e. Mark and Luke whom he had been quoting] 
ec concerning God is made clear by their own yjords." 3 Our 
opponents tell us, that we are not to learn doctrine from the 
Scriptures, but only to go to them for what they call proof, but 
Irenseus learned doctrine from Scripture. 4 And when delivering 

1 See p. 24 above. 

2 "Undique flantes incorruptibibtatem et vivificantes homines." Id. ib. iii. 11. 
p. 190. (p. 221.) 

3 " Manifesta igitur et Apostolornm et disccntium eonim ex verbis ipsorum de 
Deo facta est sententia." Id ib. iii. 15. p. 204. (iii. 16. p. 238.) 

•' " Sicut ex Scripturis discimus." Id. ib. ii. 28. p. 157. (ii. 47. p. 175.) " Di- 
dicimus enhn ex Scripturis," &c. Id. ib. ii. 28. p. 15S. (ii. 49. p. 177.) 


his doctrine respecting God, he tells us, when proceeding to the 
Scripture-proof of its truth, that the Scriptures much more plainly 
and clearly proclaim the doctrine. 1 

And, once more, he says, — " The faith which we profess is 
" firm and not imaginatory, and alone true, having manifest 
" proof from these Scriptures [i. e. the Septuagint version of the 
" Old Testament]."* How much more, then, must the Christian 
faith have manifest proof from the whole Scriptures ! 

Theophilus of Antioch. (fl. a. 168.) 

The next author to whom I would refer the reader is Theo- 
philus of Antioch, who, in his two books to Autolycus, a heathen, 
thus speaks of the capability even of the books of the Old Testa- 
ment to teach the faith. " But if you will, do you also read with 
" attention the prophetical Scriptures, and they themselves will 
" lead you more safely, so as to enable you to escape eternal 
" punishment and obtain the eternal blessings of God." 3 Again ; 
" Let it be your object for the future to study with a willing 
" mind the things of God, I mean the things declared by the 
" prophets, that, having compared the things spoken by us with 
" those spoken by the rest of mankind, you may be able to find 
" out the truth." 4 Again; — "Why should I enumerate a great 
" number of the prophets, who were many, and spoke a multi- 
" tude of things all agreeing with each other ? For, those who 
" will, may, by reading the things spoken by them, know accurately 
" the truth, and not be led astray by vain fancies."' Again ; "It 

1 " Ipsis Scripturis multo manifesting et clarius hoc ipsuin praedicantibus. Id. 
ib. ii. 35. p. 171. (ii. 66. p. 195.) Utens his osteiiskmibus, quae sunt ex Scrip- 
tnris, facile evertis," &c. Id. ib. v. 14. p. 311. (p. 422.) 

2 " Fii'ina est autem, et non ficta, et sola vera, quae secundum nos est fides, 
manifestam ostensionem babens ex his Scripturis." Id. ib. iii. 21. p. 216. 
(•ii. 25. p. 256.) 

3 El 8e /3ovk€i Kal av, ei/rvx* QlXortfMS rals irpocpriTtKcus ypacpats' Kal avral 
a Tpav6npov 65r)yr)ffovcri irpbs rb ii«puyeiv ras alooviovs KoAdcrtis, Kal tv\^ v t & v 
aloivlwv ayadwv rod Qeov. Theoph. Antioch". Ad Autol. hb. i. § ult. ad fin. 
Op. Just. Mart. ed. Bened. p. 346. (ed. Colon. 1686. p. 79.) 

* Kal rb Aoiirbv Karic <roi <pi\o<pp6vws ep^fav ra rov ®eo0, \ty(# 8e ra Sio twc 
irpocprjTwi' firiOevTa, Hirocs ffvyKplvas ra re virb 7)\xG>v \ey6yxva, Kal ra virb rSiv 
Xotirwi/, Svvriaei evpeTv rb a\T}0es. Id. ib. lib. ii. § 34. p. 373. (ed. Col. p. 110.) 

* Kal rl fxoi rb wArjOos KaraAeyeif rS>v Trpncprjrwv noAAuv ui/twu, Kal /J.vpia 


' c behoves, therefore, one who desires learning, to be also willing 
" to learn. Endeavour, therefore, more frequently to converse 
" with them [i.e. the prophetical writings], that, having heard 
u the living voice, you may learn accurately the truth. 3 ' 1 

Tertullian. (n. a. 192.) 

"What, again, is Tertullian's view as to the aptitude of Scrip- 
ture to teach the faith ? 

The following passages, though bearing indirectly on the point, 
as one not under discussion, will show his mind respecting it. 

Thus, in his Treatise on the Resurrection, he says, — " It is 
" indeed right, as also we have laid down above, that doubtful 
" passages in Scripture should be interpreted by those that are 
" certain, and obscure passages by those that are plain ; both to 
11 the intent that faith may not be destroyed, the truth en- 
" dangered, and the Godhead deemed of variable mind, through 
" a disagreement between the certain and the doubtful, the 
" plain and the obscure, as because it is not probable, that that 
" article of the Christian religion to which the whole faith is 
" committed, and on which all discipline rests, should seem to 
" be ambiguously announced and obscurely propounded." 3 
Scriptui'e, then, is in parts plain, and where it is not so, that 
which is obscure is to be expounded by that which is plain ; nor 
is it probable, thinks Tertullian, that an important point of the 
Christian faith should be propounded obscurely or ambiguously 
in Scripture. 

Again, in the same Treatise, speaking of the heretics, he calls 

<pi\a Kal ffifxcpaiva elprjK6ra)v ; ol yap fiov\6/j.evoi, Svvavrai fvrvxivns ro?s Si' 
avruv elpf]jxivois aKpi(ia>s yvwvai Tt> aA.7j0es, Kal /U>; irapdyeaBat irrrb Stavoias Kal 
fxaTaio-Kovias. Id. ib. § 35. p. 374. (ed. Col. p. 112.) 

1 Xp7j oZv rhv (pi\ofjLaOrj Kal (ptXofj.aOt'tv iretpdcrOriTt oiiv irvKvdrepov (rv/j.$a\uy, 
'6ttws Kal Cvvys o-Koixras (poovr/s, aKpifiws fj-ddys raAyOcs. I'D. ib. § lilt. p. 379. 
(ed. Col. p. 116.) 

2 " Et utique a?quum sit, quod et super demandavimus, incerta de certis, et 
obsoura de manifestis prrejudicari : vel ne inter discordiaru certonuu et incertorum 
manifestorum et obsonrorum fides dissipetur, Veritas periclitetiu - , ipsa Divinitas 
ut inconstans denotetur : turn quod ^risimile uon est, ut ea species BBcramenti 
in quam fides tota comniittitur, in quam diseiplina t»ta conuititm-, ambigae 
annuntiata et obscure proposita videatur." TERTVI.1. De resurr. earn. c. 21. 
Op. ed. 1664. p. 337. 


them, " those haters of the light of the Scriptures ;" x in which 
we may observe, by the way, how mistaken our opponents are, 
when they tell us, that the Scriptures were the great refuge to 
which the heretics betook themselves. 

And, again, in his Treatise against Praxeas, he says, — " More- 
" over, the Scripture is in no danger that it should need the aid 
" of your argumentation lest it should seem to contradict itself. 
" It speaks with good reason, both when it determines that there 
" is one God, and when it shows that the Father and Son are 
" two, and is self-sufficient." 2 

And, in the same Treatise, having quoted some passages re- 
lating to the distinction of Persons in the Trinity, he appeals to 
them as manifestly setting forth that distinction. 3 

And in his Treatise " On Prescription of heretics," he says, 
that "necessity compelled those who purposed to teach other 
" doctrines to alter the instruments (or, documents) containing 
" the doctrine. For, otherwise, they could not have taught differ- 
" ently, unless they had different documents by which to teach. 
" As their corruption of doctrine could not have succeeded, 
" without the corruption of the documents in which the doctrine 
'f is delivered, so integrity of doctrine would not have fallen to 
" our lot, without the integrity of those documents by which the 
" doctrine is delivered/' 4 

It is evident, then, that he thought, that the Scriptures de- 
livered the doctrines of religion clearly and plainly , when he tells 
us, that to give any probability to the doctrines of the heretics, 
it was necessary that those Scriptures should be altered. There 
were certainly other modes of corrupting the truth, as he himself 

1 " Lucifugse isti Scripturarum." Id. ib. c 47. p. 354. 

2 " Porro non periclitatur Scriptura, ut illi de tua arguruentatione succurras, 
ne sibi contraria videatur. Habet rationem, et quum unicum Deum statuit, et 
quum duos Patrem et Filium ostendit ; et sufficit sibL" Ld. Adv. Prax. c. 18. 
p. 510. 

3 " His itaque paucis tamen manifesto distinctio Trinitatis exponitur." Id. ib. 
c. 11. p. 506. See also c. 13. p. 507 ; and, De came Christi, c. 15. p. 319. 

4 " Quibus fuit propositum aliter docendi, eos necessitas eoegit aliter dis- 
ponendi instrumenta doctrinse. Alias enira non potuissent alitor doeere, nisi 
aliter haberent per quse docerent. Sieut illis non potuisset sueeedei-e corruptela 
doctrina? sine corruptela instrumentorum ejus ; ita et nobis et a nobis et a nobis 
not in edd. of Pamelius or Sender] integritas doctrinal non competisset, sine 
integritato eorum per quae doctrina tractatur." Id. De Prmscr. ha^ret. c. 38. p. 210. 


mentions just after in the case of the Valentinians, who, as he 
says, did not alter the Scriptures to suit their notions, but 
excogitated notions which they tried to fix upon the Scriptures, 
by a perversion of the meaning of the words, and similar arti- 
fices ; but this does not interfere with the observation we have 
just quoted, that the only way by which heretics could give pro- 
bability to their notions was by altering the Scriptures ; and that 
observation weighs strongly in behalf of the view for which we 
are contending. 

The same remark, indeed, is expressed in a passage quoted 
above, that if heretics are " left to prove their points from the 
Scriptures alone, they will not be able to stand ;" for, he who thus 
thought, would certainly not have charged the Scriptures with 
ambiguity or obscurity. In fact, this remark is in direct oppo- 
sition to the statements of the Tractators, for they tell us, that 
the heretics cannot be clearly refuted by Scripture standing 
alone, on account of its obscurity. 

And as it respects the proper mode of obtaining the sense of 
Scripture in parts that are obscure, he tells us, in a passage 
quoted above, that " doubtful passages in Scripture should be 
" interpreted by those that are certain, and obscure passages by 
" those that are plain." x And further on in the same Treatise, 
he gives as a rule of interpretation for the point of which he is 
speaking, and therefore I suppose for other points in like 
manner, that u the sense is to be governed by the subject 
matter;" 2 a practical direction, which shows that he was not 
disposed to make traditive interpretation the test of truth. And 
so again, in his Treatise against Praxeas, he says, that instead 
of doing as the heretics do, who lay hold of a few passages and 
interpret them in opposition to a multitude of other passages, we 
ought to interpret the fewer passages by the greater in number. 3 

1 Id. De resurr. cam. c. 21. (just quoted.) The same observation is also made 
in c. 19 of the same Treatise, " Manifestiora quaeque prsevaleant, et de incertis 
certiora prsescribant." p. 336. 

2 " Ex materia dicti dirigendus est sensus." Id. De resurr. earn. e. 38. p. 347. 

3 " His tribus capitulis totum instrumentum utriusque Testamenti volunt 
cedere, cum oporteat secundum plura inteOigi pandora. Sed proprium hoc est 
omnium hsereticorum. Nam quia pauca sunt qua; in silva inveniri possunt, pauca 
adversus plura defendunt, et postcriora adversus priora suscipiunt." Id. Adv. 
Vrax, c. 20. p. 511. 


These are practical directions, which, though not directly on the 
point in question, yet indirectly show the bearing of the writer's 
mind, especially when taken in connexion with his own method of 
obtaining the sense of Scripture as evinced in his various Treatises. 
Let us pass on to, — 

Clement of Alexandria, (fl. a. 192.) 

As to the perspicuity of Scripture and its aptness to teach the 
faith, (with the exception, of course, of the mysticisms of his 
" Gnostic Tradition/') he speaks thus ; — 

" The divine oracles, exhibiting to us most clearly the way to 
" true religion, lay the foundations of the truth ; and the divine 
" Scriptures and wise institutions compendiously lead to salva- 
" tion ; destitute of ornament and external beauty of language, 
" and words suited to captivate and allure, they rouse man suf- 
" focated by vice ; strengthening us against the evils incident 
" to human life ; by one and the same word serving many pur- 
u poses, turning us, on the one hand, from the delusion that 
" would be injurious to us, and, on the other, clearly exhorting 
" us to the salvation set before us/' 1 

Again ; " The Apostle, knowing this doctrine to be truly 
" divine, says, ' Thou, Timothy, from a babe hast known the 
" holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salva- 
" tion through faith in Christ.' For those Scriptures are truly 
" holy which make men holy and even divine. The same Apostle 
" consequently calls the writings or volumes composed of these 
" sacred words and syllables, ' divinely inspired, profitable 
" for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 
" righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly 
" furnished unto every good work.' " 3 

1 Ol xPWTpoli T «s e<s rfy Ofoffffielav rifuv a^op/ias iyapyeffrara TrpoTilvovres, 
OefJ.f\iov<ri rif\v aA-qOnav ypacpai 5e at deiai, Kal 7roA.iT€?aj crdxppoves, ffWTOfxot 
<rwrr]pias 68oi' yv/xval KOfifxcortKris, Kal ttjs itcrbs KaAAupwvias, Kal crroipivAias, Kal 
KoAaKeias vndpxovcrai, ayiaroixrii/ ayx^P-tvov virb KaKias rbv &v9punrov, inrepiSovaai 
rbf uAiffdov rhv [iioniKhv, paa. Kal rfj avrfj (pcovrj ttoAAo. Btpcnrevovcrai, airorpe- 
irouarai ia\v rifias rrjs i-KiQqjxiov a.Trd.TT]S, ■Kporpiirovaai. he Zp.<pav5>s els TtpovTrrov 
ffwrripiav. Clem. Alex. Cohort, ad Gent. Op. ed. Potter, pp. 65, 6. (edd. Paris. 
1641. Colon. 1688. p. 50.) 

2 TavTTjv 'AttocttoAos rr\v 5i5ao7taA.iW, Ouav vvtws'os, 2u 5«, d> Ti- 


Again ; " Hear ye who are afar off, hear ye who are near ; 
" the word has not been concealed from any ; it is a common 
" light, and shines upon all men. No one is in darkness who 
" knows the word. Let us hasten to obtain salvation," &c. ; 
where, though there may be a difference of opinion on the 
point, the context seems to me to show, that by the word he 
means the Scripture rather than the Logos. 1 

Again, he says, — " On this account the Scriptures were 
" translated into the language of the heathen, that they might 
" never be able to put forward the plea of ignorance, having it in 
" their power to hear the truths of Christianity, if only they are 
" willing. Truth interprets itself differently from what any 
" man says respecting truth." 3 

Again ; " The Prophets have spoken to us according as we 
" who are bound by the flesh are able to hear, the Lord accom- 
" modating himself to the infirmity of men with a view to their 
" salvation." 3 

Again, referring to the "Shepherd" of Hernias, he says, that 
an observation of Hernias, that he had written the book given 
to him in a vision according to the letters, not knowing how to 
form^the syllables, was intended to signify, " that the Scripture 
" was clear to all, taken according to the mere words, and that 
"faith in it in that signification possessed the elements of the truth, 
" and therefore it was allegorically called the literal reading ; 

/jLoBee, (prj(r\v, airb fSpe<povs rd lepd ypdp.p.ara oldas, ra Zvvdfieva ae vocplcrai els 
accrriptav, b~id irtareais ev Xpiaraj' Upa yap as d\r)6cos, rd tepoirotovvra /col deoiroi- 
ovvra ypdufiara- e| wv Ka\ crvWafSwv tu>v lepav ras o-vyiceifievas 
ypa<pas, rd ffvvrdyfxara, 6 avrbs clkoKovBcos ' At6(Tto\os Qeoirvevcrrovs KaKel, a<pe- 
Xifiovs oiaas irpbs SiSaffKa\(av, irpbs eKeyxov, irpbs eirav6pdaaiv, irpbs iraib~elav 
rrjv ev SiKaiocrvvy- Iva dprios jf 6 rov Qeov &v8pairos, irpbs irdv epyov dyadbv 
e|rjpri(ryueVoj. Id. Cohort, ad Gent. p. 71. (or, 56.) 

1 'AKOiKTare olv ol fianpav, aKovrrare ol eyyvs- ovk direKpvf3-q nvds 6 A6yos- (puis 
eari KOivbv, eiriKdfiirei irdaiv dvdpairois- ovSels Kifi/xepios ev A6ya>- o-irevo-afxev els 
oarr\plav, k. t. \. Id. ib. p. 72. (or, 56.) 

- Aid rovro yap 'E\/\r)vav (pavfj epfi-qvevQ^crav (r)pp.r)vev6riaav, Sylb.) al Vpacpai, 
as fir] irp6<pa(Tiv ayvoias irpofZd\Ae<Tdai 5vvr]di]vai irore avrovs o'lovs re uvras 
eiraKOvaai na\ rav trap r)fiiv, r)v fiovov eOe\r)aao-iv. "AXXas ris irepl oA.7j0eias Aeyei, 
a/Was r) d\r)6eia eavrr]v epfirjvevei. Id. Strom, lib. i. § 7. p. 338. (or, 288.) 

3 'Cls olov re r)v errateiv r)fids crapnl rrerreSrifievovs, aureus r)fuv e\d\r]aav ol 
irpo<pr)rai, o-vp.irepupfpofji.evov aarripias rfj rav dvOpairav dffBeveia rov Kvptov. Id. 
Strom, lib. ii. § 16. p. 467. (or, 391). See also lib. vi. § 7. p. 770. (or, 644.) 


" but we hold, that the Gnostic exposition of the Scriptures, 
" when faith advances, is likened to the syllabical reading." l 

And hence he says, in a passage quoted above, that " they 
icho have tasted the Scriptures only are believers." 

From which passages it is evident, that he considered that 
the Scriptures alone were adapted to give at least sufficient 
instruction in the faith to make men good Christians, though he 
supposed them to need the impartation of his Gnostic Tradition 
to lead them on to perfection, for " the Gnostic Tradition only," 
he tells us, " can understand and explain those things which are 
spoken obscurely by the Spirit." 2 

And with respect to the obscurities of Scripture, he says, that 
*■' the Scriptures conceal their meaning on several accounts ; first, 
" that we may be diligent seekers and always on the watch to find 
" out the words of salvation ; moreover, it was not fit that all 
" should know the meaning, lest, receiving what was savingly 
" spoken by the Holy Spirit otherwise than was intended, they 
" might be injured. Wherefore the holy mysteries of the pro- 
" phecies preserved for the elect, and those who are through faith 
" admitted to knowledge, are veiled in parables." 3 

And, with the exception of his Gnostic Tradition, he makes 
Scripture the interpreter of Scripture. Thus, in passages quoted 
above, he says, " We, giving perfect proof respecting the Scrip- 
* ( tures from the Scriptures themselves, persuade through faith 
" demonstratively ;" and again ; — " The truth is found . . . 
" by confirming each of the things demonstrated by the Scriptures 
"from like Scriptures." ^ 

1 'EStjAoi; 8' &pa ttji/ fxkv ypa(pr)v TrpoSriXov elvat irao~i, Kara t\]v i^iXr/v ava- 
yvwcriv iK\afjfiavofi£vr]v Ka\ ravT7}v ilvai r}]v -nicnip o-Toix iLU >i> rd^tv ex ovo ~ av ' 
Si' t> Ka\ 7] irpbs tb ypdfifxa avdyvcccns aW-qyopflrac ttjv SiaTTTv^iu 5e r^v yvoi- 
ffTiKijv tu>v ypacpuiv, ■npoKOTrrovcrrjS i)Sr] ttjs iricmas ftKa^eadai jrj Kara ras o~v\- 
Aaflas avayvwcrei «(c5«x^M e ^ a - I D - Strom, lib. vi. § 15. p. 806. (or, 679.) 

2 yi6vov Svvacrdai rbv yvwuriKov ra nobs rod Uvfvfjaros ftpr]- 
fxfva voi\afiv re ko). Statracprio-fiv. Id. Strom, lib. vi. § 15. p. 798. (or, 671.) 

3 Aia iroWas roivvv alrias f-KiKpinrrovrat rbv voiv ai ypa<pa'r irpairov fJfv, "va 
(r]TT)Tinol inrdpxb>, Ka\' aej rfj tSiv awTqpiwv \6ywv fvpfffff 
t7T€(Ta, /u?j5e rols aTraeri TrpoariKOV i)v vofiv u<s jtt?) QAapuev iripais eK5e£a to 
vtto rod ayiov Uvfvfxaros aoiTriplus flp-qfjfva- b~ib 5rj rots fKKfKroTs rwv avOpuTrwv, 
rots re 4k irio~Teci>s fls yvHiffiv iyKpfoois -r-qpovfifva ra ayia twv irpo(p7]Tfi(2v /xvcr- 
ri)pia rats irapa^oKah fyKakinrrfrai. Id. Strom, lib. vi. § 15. p. 803- (or, 676, 7.) 

4 Sec p. 51 above. 


And he tells us, that the Scriptures are to be expounded ac- 
cording to the ecclesiastical rule, (which he calls, just before, the 
rule of truth,) and that " the ecclesiastical rule is the consent 
" and harmony of the Law and the Prophets with the Covenant 
" (or, Testament) delivered at the advent of our Lord." l 

And hence he speaks elsewhere of those who " explain the 
" truth by showing the harmony of the Covenants (or, Testa- 
" ments.)" 2 

By which, and other passages, 3 it is evident, how much im- 
portance Clement attributed to the interpretation of Scripture 
by itself. 

And the errors of heretics he justly attributes, not to the ob- 
scurity of Scripture, but to their careless or wilful perversion of 
the language of Scripture. " For they," he says, " act sloth- 
" fully, who, when it is in their power to obtain from the Scrip- 
" tures themselves proofs accordant with the Divine Scriptures, 
" wholly give themselves up to choosing that which is favorable 
" to their pleasures. And they are seeking after glory, as many 
" as willingly corrupt the things delivered by the blessed Apos- 
" ties and Masters agreeably to the divinely-inspired words by 
" other attempts at delivering the truth, opposing the divine 
" tradition by human doctrines, for the sake of constituting a 
" heresy." 4 

Origen. (fl. a. 230.) 

I proceed to Origen, who, in his work against Celsus, says, 
that as a Greek, if he wished to teach the Egyptians or Syrians, 

Kavwv Se iKKArjatacrrtKbs, T) awwb'la. xal 7) ffv/u.(pa>vla v6(jlov re koX ■Kpo(pijra>y 
rfj koct& t?V rov Kvplov irapova'iai> ■jrapaSiSofj.euri Siaflij/cp. Id. ib. p. 803. (or, 

2 Trjv a\T]Qiiav fita rrjs aicoAovOias roiv SiadriKwi/ oa(pT)vi(pvres. Id. Strom. 
lib. vii. § 16. p. 894. (or, 760.) 

3 See Strom, lib. vi. § 10. p. 781. (or, 656.) 

4 'PadufAovai fieu yap o't, irapbv ras o'tKeias rats Oeiats ypacpais e| avraii> rwv 
ypcMpwv iropl£e<r$cu cbro5ei£eis, rb irapairav Ka\ rats rjSovais avrwv crvvatpov/jtevov 
iK\ey6fxei/oi. A<$|rjs Se iiridvixovatv, ocroi to Trpoacpvrj rots Qeoirvevarots \6yois imb 
rwv jxaKapiuv 'Airoo-r6\u>v re Kal StSacrKaAooi' ■napab'tb'diJ.eva, kn6vres elvat [elvat 
Lowtbio et Pottero delendum videtur] aotyi^ovrat, b~t erepwv irapeyxetprjcrewv, 
avdpunreiats StSaffKaK'tats, evto-rd/xevot Beta irapaSoaet, vnep rod r))v alpefftv ffvarr]- 
o-ao-Oat. Id. Strom, lib. vii. § 16. p. 896. (or, 762.) It seems not improbable 
that instead of it apaStS 6 /j.eva we ought to read irapaStb'6/j.evois. But I have trans- 
lated in accordance with the common reading. 


would in the first place learn their language, and rather speak 
imperfectly like a foreigner in that language, that he might do 
some good to his hearers, than by speaking Greek do them no 
good, " so the Divine Nature, making provision for not those 
" only who are esteemed learned among the Greeks, but the 
" rest also, condescended to the ignorance of the multitude of 
" hearers ; in order that, by using phrases to which they were 
" accustomed, it might allure the ignorant multitude to give 
" audience, who might, after an introduction had once been 
" given, be easily able to press forward to the comprehension of 
I s the deeper of those hidden senses that are in the Scriptures. 
" For, to any one reading them, it is evident, that they have a 
" much deeper meaning to those who give themselves to the 
" investigation of the word, than that which appears on the 
" surface, and which is made manifest in proportion to the study 
" given to the word, and according to the exercise of his willing- 
" ness to receive it." 1 

" If you shall at any time see a mind intelligent, quick, and 
" prompt, not [? omit not] meditating on the oracles of God, 
" know that it is not from blindness that it sees not those 
" things that are contained in the Scriptures, not because it is 
" in the dark, but because it shuts its eyes."" 

And he says that the heterodox, when reading the Scrip- 
tures, reap thorns, not from the Scriptures, but from their own 
imaginations. 3 

' Ovrais 7] -rrpovoovfxevri deia (pvcris ou ra>v ireiraiSevaBai vofit^ofievccv /j.6vov ra 
\_twv\ '^.Wrjvtiiv, oAAo Kal rwv \otwwv 'EWrjvtov, avyKarefST) ttj IZioneia rod 
ir\7\dovs ruv aKpocofxevaiv "va rats o~vvi)Qeo~iv av-rols xpT/cra/ieVTj \e|e(Ti TrpoKaKe- 
(TTjTat eiri a.Kpoao~iv to rwv lotairwv tt\tj6os, ef evxepovs fxera rijv a7ra£ 
yevo\x.evr\v eiaayocyriv (piAori/j.ricrao'Oai trpbs rb nal fiadvrepa rwv 
voT)fia.T(i>v ev rats ypaipais KaraXafielv. Kal tQ T\jy6vTi yap SrjAov tovtoj avayi- 
vuffKOVTi, Zti iroWa f3a9vTepov rod avr6dev e/x<paivofj.evov ex €lv Bvvarat vovv rots 
avandelaiv avrovs rrj e^eracrei rov \6yov, (pavepoifxevov Kara rrjv ava\oytav ttjs 
els rov \6yov o~x<>\rjs, Kal els tt\v &o-kt]o-iv avrov irpo6vfj.ias. Oeigex. Contra 
Cels. lib. vii. § 60. Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. pp. 737, 8. A similar passage occurs in 
the same work, lib. vi. § 2. pp. 629, 30. 

2 " Si quando videris ingeniosain ad intelligendum animam et velocem et ala- 
crem, non [? dele non] meditantem eloquia Dei, cognosce quia non propter 
cfficitatem non videt ea quae continentur in Scripturis, non ob id quia in tenebris 
sit, sed quia claudit oculos." Id. In Is. bom. 6. § 7. iii. 119. 

3 MaKicrra Be ean Karavofj<rat eVl rwv erepob'6£wv 4vrvyxav6vrwv rals ypa<pdis, 


And he calls the Scripture " a perfect and harmonious instru- 
" ment of God, producing from various different notes one saving 
" strain to those who are willing to learn, assuaging and coun- 
" teracting all the power of the evil spirit." 1 

And though he holds, that there is in general a triple sense 
in Scripture, yet he distinctly says, that " the multitude of those 
" who faithfully and simply believe, testifies, that the Scripture 
" is profitable even when interpreted in its first meaning."- 

And he earnestly exhorts all to make the Scripture their 
daily study. 3 

Moreover, as it regards the means to be used for rightly under- 
standing it, he speaks thus ; — 

After having spoken of his own knowledge of its meaning 
having been acquired by a studious and diligent perusal of it, he 
adds, — "And others also who are willing to search the Scrip- 
" ture, and have understanding, may find out its meaning. It is, 
" indeed, often obscure, but not, as Celsus says, intelligible in 
u nothing. Moreover, it is not in the power of any fool or im- 
" postor to make it plain, or turn to his own purpose what is 
" said, whithersoever he may please. But it is only he who is 
" truly wise in Christ, who can unfold the whole order of the 
" things spoken mysteriously in the prophecies, comparing 
l( spiritual things with spiritual, and confirming each of the things 
" found from the phraseology customary in the Scriptures " * 

Kal aKavOas ovk airb tuiv ypa<p£>v, a\\' airb twv ISiwv iirtvotwv Oept^ovrwv. Id. In 
Jerem. horn. 11. § 3. iii. 189. 

1 A Ev yap rb tcXsiov oiSe Kal i]p\xoo-fj.ivov ipyavov rov Qeov elvai iracrav "Ti)v 
ypa<pT]v, jxiav airoreXovv eV StatpSpcav (pQoyyuv au>Tr\piov ro7s /xavdaveiv iBeKovffi 
<ptovi]v, KaTanavovcrav Kal KwXvovffav ivipyaav iracrav irovqpov irvevuaros. Id. In 
Matth.fisgm.iiL 111. 

- 'Airb /xcv ovv ttjs npaiTris €k5ox?jx Kal Kara, tovto w(pe\ovo~ris, cti to~riv ovaadai, 
ixaprvpel ra. v\^8r] tSiv yvrjoiws Ka\ airXovartpov irtirio-TevKOTcov. Id. De Princ. 
lib. iv. § 12. i. 169, 170. See also further confirmatory remarks to the same 
effect, ib. § 14. pp. 171—173 ; and, Contra Cels. lib. iv. § 49. i. 541. 

3 See, for instance, In Levit. horn. 9. § 5. ii. 240, and, In Genes, horn. 10. 
§ 2. ii. 87. 

4 Kal &\\oi 8e, ol f3ov\6/J.evoi i£eT<i£fiv ttjv ypa(p)]v, vovv exovrts to yvaifia 
avrrjs evpuv av Svvaivro- ovai)S iroWaxov aX-qSais aaa<povs, ov fi^v, Sis (pr)0~i 
KeAcos, rh /xriSiv. 'AAA' ovSe Svvarai ris av6i)ros 3} y6rjs i^ofxaXiaai f) oiti) itot€ 
ftovXtrat to X(X^ V (rQcrepiffaffQar K6vos 8e Kal iras 6 Ka^ aXyGeiav iv Xpio-rcf> 
o-o<pbs rbv dpfxbv irdvra airoSaii} hv rwv /act' iwiKpv^fccs tlpriixivoiv iv rals irpo<f.r)- 


" We take hold of the hooks and read, hut we attain not the 
" spiritual sense. And therefore there is need, that with tears 
" and unceasing prayers we should beg that the Lord may open 
" our eyes .... And why do I say, that our eyes should he 
11 opened ? For Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind. 
" Therefore our eyes are opened, and the veil is taken away from 
" the letter of the law. But I fear, that we ourselves again 
" shut them in a sleep still more profound, while we watch 
" not in the spiritual understanding, nor are anxious to shake 
" off sleep from our eyes, and contemplate the things that are 
" spiritual/' 1 

" I fear, lest, by our too great carelessness and folly of heart, 
" the divine volumes are not only veiled to us, but also sealed 
" . . . . Whence it is manifest, not only that we must apply with 
" earnestness to learn the meaning of the sacred Scriptures, but 
" also that we must supplicate the Lord, and pray day and night, 
" that the Lamb of the tribe of Judah would come, and, taking 
" himself the sealed book, would condescend to open it." - 

" For the explanation of these things we must not depend 
" upon the strength of the human understanding, but upon sup- 
" plications and prayers poured forth to God. In which also we 
" need your aid, that God the Father of the Word would give us 
" the word to the opening of our eyes, that we may be able to 
" behold wonderful things out of his law. [Ps. 119. 18.] " s 

Telats, TTvev/xaTiKa Trvev/j.aTiKo7s ffvyKpivoov, kcu KaraaKtva^wv airb rr\s ffwt)Qeias 
twv ypacpuv eKaarov tGiv evptaKO/j.ei/a>y. Id. Contra Cels. lib. vii. § 11. i. 701, 2. 

1 " Teneinus libros et legimus, sed spiritalem sensum non attingimus. Et ideo 
opus est lachrymis et oratioiiibus indesinentibus postulare, ut Dominus aperiat 

oculos nostros Et quid dico ut aperiantur ocub nostri ? Quia jam aperti 

sunt. Jesus enim venit aperire oculos esecorum. Aperti ergo sunt ocub nostri, 
et de btera legis velamen ablatum est. Sed vereor ne nos ipsi eos somno iterum 
profimdiore claudamus, dum non vigilamus in intellectu spiritab, neque solbeiti 
sumus ut somnum discutiamus ab ocubs nostris, et contemplemur quae spiritaba 
sunt." Id. In Genes, horn. 7. § 6. ii. 80. 

2 " Ego autem vereor, ne per niniiaui negligentiam et stobditatem cordis, non 

solum velata sint nobis divina vobunina, sed et signata Unde ostenditur, 

non solum studium nobis adliibendum esse ad discendas bteras sacras, verum et 
suppbcandum Domino, et diebus ac noctibus obsecrandum, ut veniat agnus ex 
tribu Judse, et ipse accipiens bbrum signatum dignetur aperire." Id. In Exod. 
horn. 12. § 4. u. 174. 

3 " Ad htec explananda non bumani ingenii viribus nitendum est, sed oratio- 
nibus, et precibus ad Deum fusis. In quo etiam vestri adjutorio indigemus, ut 


" Let us entreat the Lord, &c that, contemplating in 

" the Holy Spirit the things that are written hy the Spirit, and 
" comparing spiritual things with spiritual, we may explain the 
" things that are written, worthily of God, and the Holy Spirit 
" who inspired them." l 

" Ye ought to know, that the things read from the sacred 
" volumes are worthy of having been uttered by the Holy 
" Spirit, but we need the grace of the Holy Spirit to interpret 
" them." 3 

" As Moses heard God, and then brought to the people what 
" he had heard from God, so we need the Holy Spirit to make 
" us acquainted with the mysteries [of Divine truth] , that by 
" our prayers we may be enabled to hear the Scripture, and then 
" signify to the people what we have heard." 3 

Other similar passages might easily be added. 4 

Hence, then, we clearly see, that Origen's view was, not that 
there were no difficulties in Scripture, (which no one supposes,) 
not that even in the simplest passages there might not be a 
latent meaning besides that which was upon the surface, (a 
notion which, as is well known, he carried to an absurd extreme,) 
but that even a reception of the first and obvious meaning was 
sufficient to make a man a believer, and that a diligent study of 
the Scriptures would unfold even its hidden meanings, and that 
the great assistant to whom we should look for the interpretation of 
it is the Holy Spirit. And nowhere does he speak so as to mo- 
dify this view, except with regard to that summary of the faith 

Deus Pater Yerbi det nobis rerbuni in apertionem oris [? oculi] nostri, ut possi- 
mus considerate mirabilia de lege ejus." Id. In Levit. boin. 6. § 1. ii. 215. 

1 " Or emus Doininum, ut nobis etiam ad cetera, qua? ab eo propbetata sunt, 
intelligenda lucidiores quosque et veritati proximos sensus aperire dignetur, ut in 
Spiritu Sancto considerantes quae per Spiritum scripta sunt, et spiritalibus spi- 
ritalia comparantes, digne Deo et sancto Spiritu qui hsec inspiravit, qua? scripta 
sunt explicemus." Id. In Num. bom. 16. § 9. ii. 334. 

2 " Scire debetis, digna quidem esse Sancti Spiritus eloquio qua? leguntur, 
[i. e. " sacrorum voluminum"] ; sed, ad explananda ea, indigemus gratia Spiritus 
Sancti." Id. In Jos. bom. 8. § 1. ii. 415. 

3 " Quomodo Moses audiebat Deum, et deinde ea qua? a Deo audierat, pro- 
ferebat ad populum ; sic nos indigemus Spiritu Sancto loquente in nobis mysteria, 
ut orationibus nostris Scripturam possimus audire, et rursum quod audivimus, 
populis intimare." Id. In Ezecb. bom. 7. § 10. iii. 385. 

4 See, for instance, De Princ. lib. iv. § 10. i. 167. 


we have already noticed, for which he considered himself to have 
sufficient testimony in the preaching of the Apostolical Churches. 
Nay, in other points, he expressly telta us, as we have seen, that 
Christians were, from the beginning, divided as to the meaning of 
the sacred books. And how far that summary is of any use 
against the errors of the present day, is a point to which we have 
already called the attention of the reader. 

Cyprian, (fl. a. 248.) 

In the preface to his first two books of Scripture Testimonies, 
addressed to Quirinus, in which he gives a few of the chief pas- 
sages of Scripture on the principal Chi'istian doctrines, after 
stating what his work contained, he adds, " If you read these, 
" they will be of use to you for the present in forming the first 
" lineaments of the faith. More strength will be given you, and 
" the understanding of your heart will be more and more 
" vigorous, if you search the Scriptures of the Old and New 
" Testament more fully, and read through all the volumes of 
" the spiritual books. For, in this work, we have but filled a 
" small vessel from the divine fountains, to send to you as a 
" temporary supply. You will be able to drink more freely, 
" and be more fully satisfied, if you also approach to the 
" same fountains of divine fulness, and drink from hence as 
" we have." l 

Is not this a reference to Scripture as the best teacher of the 
Christian religion, and the source whence even the elements of the 
faith were to be drawn by every one who wished to learn what 
they were ? 

Novatian. (fl. a. 251.) 

" The divine Scripture," says Novatian, " easily refutes and 
exposes both the frauds and thefts of heretics." 2 

1 " Qua; legenti tibi interim prosint ad prima fklei lineamenta formanda. Plus 
roboris tibi dabitur, et magis ac magis intellectus cordis operabitur, scrutanti Scrip- 
turas veteres ac novas plenius, et universa librorum spiritalium volumina perle- 
gcnti. Nam nos nunc de divinis fontibus implcvimus modicum, quod tibi interim 
inittereinus. Bibere uberius et saturari copiosius poteris, si tu quoque ad eosdem 
divine plenitudinis fontes nobiscum pariter potaturus accesseris." Ctpeiani 
Testim.adQuirinum. Pracf.adlibr. i. andii. Op. ed. Fell. Oxon. 1682. Pt.Lp.18. 

3 " Scriptura divina liEereticorum et fraudcs et furta facile convincit et detegit." 
Novatiaxi Dj Trin. c. 19. ed. ad fin. TertulL Op. ed. 1661. p. 718. 


Gregory of Neoc.esarea. (fl. a. 254.) 

" To those who search the divine oracles," says Gregory 
" of Neoceesarea, " is unfolded the treasure of the knowledge 
" of God." l 

Lactantius. (fl. a. 303.) 

" Learned men/' says Lactantius, " accustomed to sweet and 
" polished orations and poems, despise the simple and unadorned 
" language of the divine Scriptures as contemptible .... Could 
" not, then, God, the maker of the mind and voice and tongue, 
" speak eloquently ? Yes, verily, but the Supreme Providence 
" wished those things that are divine to be clear, that all might 
" understand what he himself addressed to all. ,> 3 

" The divine Scriptures teach us the knowledge of the 
truth." 3 

" This is the principal reason why the holy Scripture is not 
" believed among the wise and learned and the princes of this 
" world, that the prophets have spoken in a common and simple 
" phraseology, as addressing themselves to the people." 4 He pro- 
bably alludes here more especially to the prophets of the New 

" Since there have existed many heresies, and the people of 
" God have, by the instigations of evil spirits, been divided, the 
" truth is briefly to be settled by us, and placed in its own proper 
" abode ; that if any one desires to draw the water of life, he 

5 To7s eptvvSxri to. Btla \6yia, avaKaXvimTai <5 Oricravphs ttjs tov 0eoO yvuxxecos. 
Gregor. NEOCiES. (Thaixmat.) In Annunc. Serra. 2. Op. ed. Paris. 1622, p. 19. 
See the whole context. 

2 "Assueti enini [i. e. homines literati] duleibus et politis sive orationibus sive 
carminibus, divinarum literarnm simplicem communemque sermonem pro sordido 

aspernantur Num igitur Deus et mentis et vocis et lingna3 artit'ex diserte 

loqui non potest ? Imo vero Summa Providentia carere fuco voluit ea qua? divina 
sunt, ut omnes intelligerent qua? ipse omnibus loquebatur." Lactant. Div. Instit. 
lib. vi. c. 21. Op. ed. Cant. 1685. p. 339. (Par. 17 IS. vol. i. p. 496.) 

3 "Nos .... divina? litera? ad scientiam veritatis crudiunt ."' Id. ib. lib. vii. c. 14. 
ed. Cant. 1685. p. 383. (Par. 1748. vol. i. p. 555.) 

4 " Nam lur-e in primis causa est, cur apud sapientes et doctos et principes hujus 
sceculi, Scr'qitura Sancta fide careat, quod Propheta? communi ac simplici sermone, 
ut ad populum, sunt locuti." Id. ib. lib. v. c. i. ed. Cant. 1685. p. 236. (Par. 
1748. vol. i. p. 361.) 


" may not be carried away to exhausted lakes that have no 
" supply, but may know the abundant fountain of God, supplied 
" with ichich he may enjoy perennial light .... Some not suffi- 
" ciently learned in the heavenly writing* .... have been led astray 
" from the right path, and corrupted the heavenly writings, that 
" they might compose for themselves a new doctrine, destitute 
" of any root and stability." * 

Athaxasius. (fl. a. 326.) 

Our nest witness is Athanasius, whose views, indeed, on the 
point now in question are very clearly shown in some of the 
passages already quoted from liim above ; where he tells us, that 
" the whole inspired Scripture teaches more clearly and fully " 
than he could ;- that " the representations of the truth de- 
" rived from the Scriptures are much more exact than those 
" derived from any other source;" 3 that the reader of Scripture 
may "find from the divine oracles" the Christian faith, "for 
" the holy and inspired Scriptures are sufficient of themselves to 
" make known the truth ; " * and that " the true and pious faith 
" in the Lord is made evident to all, being known and read out 
" of the divine Scriptures." 5 

But we may add to these many other similar testimonies. 

Thus, after having expounded the faith respecting the person 
and incarnation of Christ, he says, — "Accept these remarks from 
" us, treating briefly of the matter as far as regards the elements 

1 " Sed quoniam multse haereses extiterttnt, et instinctibus daemonum populus 
Dei scissus est, determinanda est nobis Veritas breviter, et in suo proprio domicilio 
collocanda ; ut si quis aquam vita cupiet haurire, non ad detritos lacus deferatur, 
qui non habent venam, sed uberrimum Dei noverit fontem, quo irrigatus perenni 
luce potiatur .... Quidam non satis ccelestibus Uteris eruditi .... depravati sunt 
ab itinere recto, et coelestes literas cormperunt, ut novam sibi doctrinam sine ulla 
radice ac stabilitate componerent." Id. ib.lib. iv.c. 30. ed.Cant.16S5. pp. 231,2. 
(Par. 174S, vol. i. pp. 352, 353.) And to those passages we might add the fol- 
lowing, — " Ecce vox de ccelo veritatem docens, et nobis sole ipso clarius lumen 
ostendens." ib. Ub. iii. c. ult. ed. Cant. 16S5. p. 171. (Par. 174S. tom.i. p. 270.) 
There can be little doubt to what Lactantius here refers, but as the Scriptures are 
not expressly named, I have not noticed it a' 

: See p. 100, note 3 above. 

3 See p. 101, note 5 above. 

* See p. 105, note 4 above. 

* See p. 109, note * above. 


" and outline of the faith, with respect to Christ But if, 

" having taken occasion from these remarks, thou shouldest 
" read the Scriptures, sincerely applying thy mind to them, 
" thou shalt know from them, as to the points spoken of, 
" more perfectly and clearly the accuracy of what has been 
" said." l 

Again ; " The Lord himself said, Search the Scriptures, they 
" are they that testify of me. How, therefore, shall they confess 
" the Lord, who do not search the Scriptures respecting him ? 
" .... Of what use are the Scriptures to him of Samosata ? . . . . 
" Of what use are the Scriptures to the Arians, and why do they 
" quote them ? . . . . For, none of these heresies have anything 
" in common with the Scriptures in the impiety of their conceits. 
" And this their patrons well know .... But, in order to de- 
" ceive the simple, .... they pretend to care for and speak the 
" words [of Scripture], like their father the devil, that from the 
" use of the words they may seem to hold the right doctrine, 
" and may then persuade miserable men to embrace doctrines 
" contrary to the Scriptures .... Any one who wished accurately 
" to discuss these points, might write much respecting them 
<c . . . . But since the divine Scripture is more competent than all 
" things [to teach the faith], therefore having given my advice 
" to those who desire to know more concerning these things, 
" to read the divine words, I have myself hastened to set forth 
tc that which is most pressing, on which account chiefly I have 
" thus written." ~ 

' TavTtz fj.ev aroi Trap' 7]fj.oiv St' oXiywv, '6crov irpbs cnoix e '- wa ' LV Ka ^ X a P aKT VP CL 

rjjs Kara. Xpicrrbv ■kicttcjis 2u 5e t))V irp6<pa<riv etc Toirruiv Xa&wv, e« 

tvrvyxdvois T0 ' s T ^ y/ yp<*-'Pc2v ypd.nfj.acn, ytn)0~lcj>s ainois icpicndvciiv rbv vovv, yvdnnj 
irap' avrcZu ra. XeySfxeva, TeXei6repov /xhv Kal rpav6repov rc2v Xtx®* vr< ' iv " T h v Q-Kpl- 
fieiav. Athanas. De incarn. Verbi Dei. § 56. Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. p. 96. 

2 'O Sf Kvpios avrbs (Xeyev, ipevvare ras ypacpas, '6rt aural elffiv al fxaprv- 
povrai irepl efiov. Tlcos ovv 6fi.o\oyr)<rov<Ti rbv Kvpiov, fir) irpoepevvcoyres ras ircpl 

a'lrov ypacpas ; Ti rep Ha/jLocrare? ra. rcZv ypacpcZv ; Tl Si Kal reus 

, Xp(iavols al ypacpal, Kal rl ravras ourot Trpocpepovcriv ; Tlpbs /xiu yap t^v 

nlav tt)s f-Kipoias acrtfieiav eKacrrrj rovrccv rc2v alpiaaccv ouSiv KOivbv ex 6 ' ""P^* Ta s 

ypacpas' Kal rovro taaai Kal ol to rovrwv irpecrfievovres, aicdrrjs Si X^P lt ' 

rcZv airXovcrrepuv o~xV. uaT ' l £ 01/raL H-eXerai/ Kai keyeiv ras A.e'|ets, ws & nar^p 

avruv Sid&oXos, "fa eK tw A.e'£ecoj' Sb^aiffif bpQbv «X 6 "' Kc ^ ro <Ppbvt)ixa, Kal Xoiirbv 

ir Acrcocri irapa ras ypacpas cppovelv robs raXainwpovs avOpuiirovs TloXXa 

H-iv ovv &u ris ypdfyeiev, el PovXoiro its pi rovrccv itn^epydcracTQai 'EneiS^i 


A more direct and unqualified contradiction to the view 
of the Tractators than is contained in this passage, could not 
be framed. 

Again ; " We are confident/' he says, "from the divine Scrip- 
" tures, respecting the orthodox faith, and place it as a light 
" upon a candlestick." l 

" The Scripture hath laid down such examples and images, 
u in order that, since human nature is unable to comprehend 
" the things of God, we may be able, in some small and im- 
" perfect way, as far as is attainable, to know something of them. 
" And as with respect to the existence of a God and a Provi- 
" dence, creation is sufficient to give us this knowledge ..... 
" and we do not require words to learn this from them [i. e. from 
" the things that are made], but upon hearing the Scriptures 

" believe, in the same way, the afore-mentioned passages 

" being sufficient with respect to the divinity of the Son, it is vain, 
" nay, rather, it is the height of madness, to doubt, and here- 
" tically to ask, How can the Son be eternal ? " 2 

Far from supposing, that there was any obscurity in Scrip- 
ture that could be any apology for the Arians, he only blames 
them for their ignorance and perverse interpretation of such 
clear declarations of the truth as are to be found there. 

" They," he says, " laying down their own impious doctrine 
" as a sort of canon, pervert all the divine oracles so as to make 
" them accord with it, who, while only uttering these things, 

8f 77 6eia ypacp^j iravTtcv iffTiv iKavairepa, tovtov X°-P lv T0 ' IS fiovKofievois ra noWa 
Trepi rovrwv yivtlxTKtiv, o-vfi.fiov\ev<ras evrvyxo-vfiv toIs 6elois \6yois, avrbs vvv rb 
Kamitiyov £(nrov8u<ra. 8r)\w<rai, Sib fxaXicrra Kal ovrais typaipa. Id. Ep. ad 
Episc. iEgypti et Lib. (al. Orat. i. contra Arian.) § 4. i. 273, 4. 

1 'iSov yap T)p.tis fJ.ev 4k tG>v Qeiwv ypa(pwy Tra.$p-q<Tia£6ixtda irepl Trjs svaejiovs 
■nlffreccs, Kal dis \\>xvov 4irl tt)s Xvxvias TiQeafiev. Id. Orat. 1. contra Arian. 
§ 9. i. 412. 

2 Toiavra yap to irapaSdy/xaTa Kal roiavras ras UK6vas tdriKev rj ypa<pr), 'Lu 
fweiSav a8vvaT6s 4<jtiv rj avQpwniyr} (pvcris vepl Qeov KaTahafiiiv, k&v 4k rovraiu 
oKiyoarws irws Kal ap.u8p6is, ws 4(ptKr6v earn, SiavoticrQai Swridwuev. Kal Siairtp 

■wtpl rov thai 6ebv Kal np6voiav, a\napKf\s rj kt'ictis irpbs t)) v yvwaiv Kal 

ov (pwvas curaiToui'Tfs Trap' avrSiiv p.av8avoyLtv, a\k' aKOvovres H-iV rwv ypafySiv 

TTKTTWOjXiv rbv avrbv rponov irepl ttjs tov v'iov 0€o'tt)tos iKavwv ovrtnv rwv 

Trpoeip7jfj.ivuv py\rSiv, irepirrbv, fiaKKov Se Kal fiapias nAtov 4<ttIv an<pij$aKXeit>, Kal 
alpeTiKws irvvdaveo-Oai, irws olv Sui/arai aiSiais thai 6 vl6s ; k. t. A. Id. Orat. 2. 
contra Arian. § 32. i. 500. 

VOL. III. «• 


" deserve no other answer than — ' Ye do err, not knowing the 
" Scriptures, nor the power of God/ " x 

The reason why the heretics did not confess Christ to be the 
Son of God in an orthodox sense, was, according to him, their 
" ignorance of the truth, and want of acquaintance with the 
divine Scriptures." ~ 

And he says, that " they who call the Arians Christians, arc 
" much and greatly deceived, as persons who have neither read 
" the Scriptures nor are at all acquainted with Christianity and 
" the faith in Christ." 3 

Lastly, on the style of Scripture phraseology, he says, that 
" it is the custom of the divine Scripture to deliver and describe 
' ' things that are above human comprehension in the words of 
"man." 4. And that "it is the custom of the Scripture to 
speak in a plain and simple style of phraseology." 5 

Other passages of a similar nature might easily be added. 6 

And the directions he gives for ascertaining the meaning of 
Scripture are such as these ; — 

"This doctrine will be found abundantly contained in the 
" divine oracles by him who diligently reads them, and inves- 
" tigatcs the time, and the persons, and the cause of the things 
" written, and so reads with judgment and discrimination. Thus, 
" such a one will rind out the time of this passage we are now 
" considering, and will understand that the Lord, having ex- 

1 'Cls Kav6va riva. r^v ISiav acrefieiav Oe/nevoi, irpbs rovrov irdvra ra 6ela \6yia 
8ia<TTpe(povcriv o'l rives Kal \x6vov avra <p6eyy6fx.€voL, ovStv ertpov aKoveiv ticrlv 
&£toi, f), TlAavaade, fx$i €iS6res tos yptupas, ^uTjSe r^v Swa/uv rov Qeov. Id. Orat. 
1. contra Aiian. § 52. i. 457. 

2 Tb 8e elvai rovrov rod ®eov vibv oi>x o/xoAoyovaiv eari 8e revro rijs aA?;- 
Oeias ayvwaia, Kal rcov 8ei<ov ypacpwv aneipla. Id. De decret. Nio. Syn. § 17. 
i. 222. 

3 Oi rovrovs [i. C. 'Apeioiws] KaXovvrts Xpto-riavovs, tto\v Kal \lav irXavwvrai, 
as /xrire ras ypacpas avtyvwKdres, /.n'tn oAws eiSdres rbv Xpio-riaviff/ Kal r))v iv 
avrf irio-rtv. Id. Orat. 1. contra Arian. § 1. i. 106. 

* "Kdos yap rfj deiq ypa<pfj, avdpoiirlvws ra, virep &v6panrov AaAeiV Kal trriixalveiv . 
Id. Orat. k contra Arian. § 27. i. G38. 

6 'EOos 5e rovro rrj ypa(prj, atrepitpyccs Kal an\us ras A.e'|eis eK(ppd£eiv. Id. 
Orat. 1. contra Arian. § S3, i. 642. 

" Sec Orat, 3. contra Arian. § l.*i. 551. A. ib. § 15. i. 56-4. B. Epist. 1. 
ad Sera].. § 13. i. G61. E. ib. § 20. i. 669. B. C. ' Also, PsEXWO-Al I 
Disp. cum Alio, § 48, says, At 07101 ypa<pal irdvra o~a<pi) SiaAeyovrai. Op. toni. ii. 
p. 22S. 


" isted from eternity, afterwards at the end of times became 
" man/' &C. 1 

" It is right, as it behoves us to do in the case of the whole 
" divine Scripture, and as, indeed, is necessary, so here also, 
" faithfully to ascertain the time of which the Apostle spoke, 
" and the person and the thing on account of which he wrote, 
" that the reader may not, by ignorance of these things, or of 
" some other similar matter, err from the true meaning." And 
having noticed some who had not attended to this, he adds, — 
" Such, therefore, in truth, having been the case with the 
" enemies of Christ, they have fallen away into grievous heresy. 
" For, if they had known both the person and the thing, and 
" the time of the Apostle's words, they would not, by under- 
" standing what was spoken of his human nature as applying 
" to his divinity, have madly reached such a height cf im- 
" piety." a 

These are the practical directions he gives for ascertaining 
the meaning of Scripture. And his words clearly show, that 
he considered that it needed only the proper use of these means 
to discover the sense of Scripture. On all points, then, the 
testimony of Athanasius is wholly with us. 

Anthony, (ft. a. 330.) 

Among others, let us hear the testimony of the pious Anthony 
respecting the sufficiency of Scripture for teaching the faith. 
In one of his addresses to the monks who had associated them- 

1 Tty 8e Sidvotav ravrrjv *vpri<rei koAHs ev to7s Aoyiois Kei/j.4vT]v 6 jutj irdpepyov 
iTyovfievos r^v dvdyvaxriv, d\\d Kal rbv Kaipbv Kal rd -Kpoaunra Kal t$jv xp fiav T ^ v 
yeypafiuevuv ipevvwv, Kal ovru rd dvayviiauara StaKpivwv Kal Siavooifxevos. Tbv 
pev oiiv Kaipbv tov pTjroO tovtov evpr)<ret Kal yvwffeTat, on, del &v 6 Kvpios, VffTtpOV 
eirl crvvTekiia twv aiwvwv yeyovev avdpomos, k. t. \. Id. De decret. Nie. S\n. 
Ml. i. 220. 

■ Ae? 5e, ws iirl itdo~t)s ttjs delas ypa<pf)s Trpoo~r)K€i Troieiv, Kal dvayKa76v (<ttu>, 
ovtu> Kal ivravda, Kaff tv elirev 6 dir6(noKos Kaipbv, Kal rb ■Kpoaanrov, Kal t& irpdyfjia, 
St6irep eypa\l/e, irierraJs tKAan&dveiv, Xva /u$J irapa raOro f) Kal trap' erepAv rt roinaiv 

dyvowv 6 dvayivuxTKoiv, e£a> ttjs aKr)8ivfis Siavoias yivqrai Toiavra 8?j oiv 

Kal oi XpiffToixdxoi Ttadovrts, (Is fj.vo~apdv alpeaiv iKirfirraiKao'iv. Et ydp iyvw- 
Keicrav t6 t€ irp6o~WTrov Kal rb Trpayfia, Kal rbv Kaipbv tov diroo~ToAiKOv pt]Tov, ovk 
av Ta avdpanriva tis t^v 6(6rr\Ta ^KKa^dvovres, roaovTov j)<t(^ovv ol &<ppoves. Id. 
Orat. 1. contra Arian. §§ 51, 55. i. 1 

R 2 


selves with him, as recorded by Athanasius, he commences by- 
saying, — "The Scriptures are sufficient to teach us; 
" but it is well for us to exhort one another in the faith, and 
" animate one another by discourse." 1 

Cyril of Jerusalem, (fl. a. 350.) 

I proceed to Cyril of Jerusalem, for whose opinion as to the 
sufficiency of Scripture for teaching the faith, we may note the 
following passages. 

After having given an account of the principal articles of the 
Christian faith, as taught by Scripture, proceeding to discuss 
the remaining elementary points, he says, " But the inspired 
" Scriptures of the Old and New Testament teach us these 
"things." 2 And accordingly, in the latter part of the same 
Lecture, he says, — " Fortify thy soul in every way, attending 
" diligently to fastings, works of charity, and the perusal of the 
" divine oracles, that living the rest of thy time in the flesh with 
" temperance, and in the acknowledgment of the pure doctrines 
" of Christianity, thou mayest enjoy the one salvation of the 
" font." 3 

Again ; — " Go to the bee, and learn how laborious it is ; how, 
" flying from flower to flower of every kind, it produces honey 
" for thy profit ; that thou also thyself, going through the divine 
" Scriptures, may obtain thy own salvation ; and being filled 
" with these divine Scriptures may say, f How sweet are thy 
" words unto my taste, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb 
" to my mouth.' " * 

1 Tds fJ-hv ypcupas iKavds elvai irpb [/irphs^, SificurKaXiav 8e Ka\bv irapa- 
KctAeij/ a\Ai)\ovs eV rfj iriaTfi, Kal a\ci<pftv iv rots \6yois. AM TOW. Mox. ad 
Monach. in Athanas. Vita Anton. § 16. Athanas. Op. ed Ben. torn. i. Pt. 2. 
p. 808. (ed. Colon. 1686. torn. ii. p. 461.) 

2 Tavra 8« HiSaffKovaiv v/xas at 6e6-nvev(TToi ypacpal tt/s iraXaias re Kal Katvys 
5ia07)K7js. Cteill. Hieeos. Cat. 4. § 20. Op. ed. Milles. Oxon. 1703. p. 63. 

3 HavTolws rrjv creavrov \l/vxh" a.ff<pa\l£ov, vT]<TTeia.ts irpoae'x "'' etetlf-otrvvais, 
Kal deiwv Koyiuv avayviLa^aaw, 'iva fieri cruKppocrvvrjs Kal SoyfiaTaiv tvGefSwv tbv 
sirihonrov iv ffapKl fitweras x?^ vov r V s M'" s T °v AourpoO <ToeT7)pias awoXavays. Id. 
Gat. 4. § ult. p. 68. 

4 TlopivBrjrt wpbs T-i]p /xeXicraav, Kal fidBf is (pydrts i<Pr(' ira>s &v6t] Travrcna 
vrepiTptxovffa, <rvvrldr,(rl aoi Ttpbs L<pl\eiav rb jueAc 'iva Kal ainbs irepiepxi^vos 


Again; "But for the future let us go to the divine Scrip- 
" tmes, and drink waters from our own cisterns, the holy 
" fathers, and from the fountain of our own wells. Let us 
" drink from living water springing up into eternal life.'" l 

Again ; " For the time would fail me in my discourse, if I 
" wished to speak of the points that remain respecting the 
" Holy Spirit from the fourteen Epistles of Paul, in which, in 
" various ways, and with a fulness that has omitted nothing, 
" and in the fear of God, he has taught us [the faith.] But 
" may it be the office of the power of the Holy Spirit himself 
u to grant to us pardon for the things which we have omitted on 
" account of the shortness of the days, and to infuse into you 
" my hearers a more perfect knowledge of the things omitted ; 
" the studious among you learning these things from a more fre- 
" quent reading of the divine Scriptures ; and now also from these 
" present catechetical lectures, and from what 1 have before 
" spoken, having a firmer faith, that is, faith in one God the 
" Father Almighty," &c. 2 

Hilary of Poictiers. (fl. a. 354.) 

" "When," saith Hilary of Poictiers, " after a long night of igno- 
" ranee, after the ambiguous and uncertain teaching of human 
" opinions, after the various views of different religions, man 
" has long been in error and inquiring respecting God . . . 
f* every prudent man having betaken himself to the Prophets 

ras deias yparpas, rrjs eavrov ffwrrfpias irepi5pa£j?, Kal rovrwv zfj.cpopovii.zvos ztinjs, 
'fls yKvKta rw Xapvyyi fxoi ra, \6yid crov inrzp fiiXt Kal K-qpiov r<$ o-rSfxari liov. 
Id. Cat. 9. § 6. p. 121. 

1 Aoinbv 5e ets rds dzlas ypa<pas iwav{\0w/j.ev, Kal vSara a-rrb fifxerepwv 
ayyelwv, aylwv Traripwv, Kal curb ij(uerip»n> (ppedrwv n^yrjs- -rrivw/xev airb vSaros 
£wvtos aWofxevov eis £o>V alwvtov, k. r. \. Id. Cat. 16. § 5. p. 226. 

2 'EinA.efyei yap fj.e SinyovfACvov 6 xp6"°s> « i$ov\6fxr]v Xeyeiv to Ke'nrovra irepl 
ayiov TIvei/xaTos iK rwv TlavKov reo-aapeo-Kaib'eKa iirurrohwv, iv als itoikiAws, Kal 
aveWnrws, Kal ev\a&ws iSlSa^ev. "Epyov 8' av cfy rr/s avrov rov aylov 
Tlvevfiaros, r\fxiv fiev, i<p' oh iveWeinofJ-fv, Sid rb rwv Tffxepwv oK'iyov Sovvai ffvy- 
yvwfvt\v, vfuv Sh rols aKpoarais rwv \eiir6vrwv reXeioripav ivdelvai r^v yvwffiv 
rwv airovSaiwv iv vpuv iK rr\s irvKvoripas rwv delwv ypacpwv avayvwerews ravra 
fj.avdav6vTwv, ^5tj 8e Kal e'/c rwv -Kapovawv rovrwv Kari)xh<rewv, Kal iK rwv irpdrepov 
up-qfievwv tj/jav f3(f3aioripav rrjv irlariv ix^VTWv, rwv [? t^] <*S «Va ®ebv izaripa 
iravroKpaTopa, k. t. A.. Id. Cat. 17- § 16. p. 257. 


" and Apostles will have obtained the knowledge of the whole 
" law of God, under the mystery of its eternal arrangement." 
And having added a brief statement of the faith which is thus 
learned, he says, — " And then this mystery of piety being re- 
" ceived, being placed in the light of knowledge after the night 
" of ignorance, he thus speaks, ' Shall not my soul be subject 
" unto God ? For from him cometh my salvation, ' &c. 
" [Ps. lxii. 1, 2.]" 1 

" We must first act according to the commands of God ; then 
" his ways are to be considered ; for unless the practice of 
" faithful works shall have gone before, the knowledge of doc- 
" trine will not be attained ; and we must first act obediently 
" that we may obtain knowledge. His ' ways/ therefore, we 
" consider to mean, according to our former exposition, the 
" Law, the Prophets, all the Gospels and the Apostles [i. e. the 
" books of the Old and New Testament.]" 3 

" Salvation is far from the wicked, because they have not 
" sought the statutes of God ; since for no other purpose ivere 
" they consigned to writing, than that they should come within the 
" knowledge and conceptions of all without exception." 3 

"The word of God [speaking expressly of Scripture'] has 
" consulted the benefit of all who shall ever live, being itself 
" the best adapted to promote the instruction of mankind in every 
11 age."* 

1 " Cum post niultam inscientise noctem, post ambiguam buinauariun sententi- 
arum incertamque doctrinain, post divcrsarum religionum variaui opinionem, cuin 
din erratum qusesitumque de Deo sit ... . prudens quisque conversus ad Prophetas 
atque Apostolos, Dei legem omnem sub sacramento asternae dispositiouis perceperit 
. . . . ac turn, hoc sacramento pietatis accepto, post ignorationis uoctem in sciential 
lumine collocatus, ita dicit," etc. Hilae. Pictav. in Ps. 61. (al. 62.) § 2. Op. ed. 
Ben. col. 146, 7. 

2 " Prius exercendum est in mandatis Dei, tmn deinde via? ejus considerandaj ; 
quia nisi fidelium operum usus prajcesserit, doctrinse cognitio non apprenendetur ; 
et agendum a nobis antea fideliter est, ut scientiam consequamur. Vias ergo, 
secundum superiorem expositionem, Legem, Propbetas, omnia Evangelia et Apos- 
tolos esse existimamus." Id. in Ps. 118. (al. 119.) Litt. 2. § 10. col. 255. 

3 " Ob id longe a peccatoribus salus est, quia non exqxusiermit justificationes 
Dei, cum non utique ob aliud consignata) litteris maiKaiit, quam ut ad univer- 
sovum scientiam notionemquc defluerent." Id. in Ps. 118. (al. 119.) litt. 20. § 5. 
col. 359. 

4 " Universis qui in vitam vennont, Dei sermo considuit, universae a;tati ipso 
aptissimufl ad profectum." Id. Prolog, in Cant, quind. grad. § 4. col. 368. 


" The only-begotten God, conscious of his own nature, de- 
" clares the ineffable mystery of his nativity, for the confession 
" of our faith, with the greatest possible fulness that words would 
" admit of, that he might be understood to be born, and yet 
" believed to be in the nature of God." 1 

" For the discourses of man concerning the things of God, 
" there are left to us no other words than those of God ; all 
" other are both narrow and confined, and embarrassed and ob- 
" scure. If any one desires to describe this matter in any 
" other words than those in which it is declared by God, either he 
" does not himself understand it, or he leaves it unintelligible to 
" the reader." ' 2 

" It ought first to be known, that God has not spoken to him- 
" self but to us, and has so adapted his words to our intelligence, 
" as to enable the infirmity of our nature to receive and understand 
" them." 3 

" Therefore God providing for the infirmity of man has not 
" taught the faith by bald words of doubtful meaning .... I ask 
" what other fitter words he could have used to make us under- 
" stand his meaning, that he and the Father should be under- 
" stood to be one, than, &c. [quoting John x. 30] ." * 

" The Lord has declared the faith of the gospel with the 
" greatest possible simplicity of words ; and has adapted his Ian- 
" guage to our intelligence, as far as the infirmity of our nature 
" could bear." 5 

1 " Uuigeiiitus igitur Deus naturae in se suae couscius, nativitatis propria} inenar- 
rabile sacramentum, ad fidei tamen nostrse confessioneni, quanta potest verborum 
absolutione significat, ut et natus hitelligatur et hi Dei natura esse credatur," etc. 
Id. ib. lib. vii. § 22. col. 930. 

2 " Non relietus est hoininum eloquiis de Dei rebus alius prseter quam Dei 
sermo : omnia reliqua et arta et conclusa et impedita sunt et obsciu*a. Si quis 
aliis verbis demonstrare boc quam quibus a Deo dictum est, volet, aut ipse non 
iurclligit, aut legentibus non intelligendum»relinquit." Id. ib. Ub. vh. § 38. 
col. 942. 

3 " Primum cognosci oportet, Deum non sibi sed nobis locntum, et in tantum ad 
intelligentiam nostram eloquii sui temperasse sermonem, quantum comprebendere 
ad sciitiendmn naturae nostrse possit infirmitns." Id. ib. lib. viii. §43. col. 973. 

4 " Consulens itaque humans mfirmitati Deus, non incerta verborum nuditate 
Qdem docuit .. ..qiueroquo alio ad intclligcnti;e nostrse sensum expoeitionifl suae 
uti potuerit aptiore sennone, ut umuii ease intelligerentnr, (juam," etc. Id. ib. 
§ 52. col. 978. 

s " Quanta potuii Dominus rerborum simplicitate evangelicam fidem locutus 


" The Apostolical words have not a meaning incautiously 
" expressed, or one that is doubtful, so as to give room for 
" impiety." l 

Hence, so far from thinking it necessary to appeal to u Tra- 
dition," because the heretics quoted Scripture, he says, "The 
" meaning of those very declarations must be produced from the 
" declarations themselves, that the truth may there be found 
" where it is denied. For, the things that are spoken by divine 
" inspiration simply and to teach us the faith, are necessarily so 
" spoken, that, for that for which they are spoken, they cannot 
" be confirmed by the testimonies of declarations foreign to 
" them." 2 

He makes Scripture the Judge, for the very reason, that 
heretics quoted it as in their favor. 

And the reason he gives for heretical misinterpretations of 
Scripture is, not its obscurity, but that what is read is adapted 
to a meaning, rather than a meaning adapted to what is read. s 

Many other passages of a like nature might easily be added. * 

Moreover, on the means of attaining a knowledge of the true 
sense of Scripture, he speaks thus, — 

After speaking of the Law being understood by Christians, 
he adds — " This perhaps may be thought bold. It is indeed 
" bold, if we take this glory to ourselves, if we think so much 
" to be within the power of our infirmity, that with respect to 
" things hidden for so long a time, obscure to so many ages of 
" the human race, in seeking to attain the sense of which kings 
" have laboured in vain, doctors and teachers of the law have 

est ; et in tantum ad intelligentiam nostrani serinones aptavit, in quantum naturae 
nostra? ferret infirinitas." Id. ib. lib. ix. § 40. col. 1010. 

1 " Non incautis neque ad occasionem impietatis incertis significationibus serino 
apostolicus loquitur." Id. lib. xi. § 17. col. 1092. 

2 " Eorum ipsorum dictorum ratio ex bis ipsis dictis afferatur ; ut illic Veritas 
reperiatur, ubi negatur. Quae enim simpliciter et ad eruditionem fidei divinitus 
dicta sunt, necesse est ita dicta sint, ut ad id [ad] quod dicta sunt non abenoruni 
atque extrinsecus dictorum confirmentur exemplis." Id. ib. § 7. col. 1086. 

3 " Nee negari possit, ex vitio malae inteUigentise, fidei exstitisse dissidium, dum 
quod legitur sensui potius coaptatur quani lectioni sensus obtemperat." Id. ib. lib. 
vii. § 4. col. 917. 

* See ill Psalm 118. [119.] btt. 1. § 7. col. 246. Ib. litt. 14. § 2. col. 321, 2. In 
Psabn. 135. § 2. col. 482. De Trin. lib. iv. § 17. col. 838. Ib. lib. vi. § 19. 
col. 890, 1. 


" themselves erred, we that are fools in the eyes of the world, 
" the offscouring of the earth and madmen to the wise, should 
" boast of understanding them. But yet we do understand 
" them ; because he is faithful who said, ' Ask and it shall be 
" given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be 
" opened unto you' .... It is not therefore of ourselves that 
" we understand, but of him who hath given us to understand 
" those things which were beyond our knowledge. Therefore 
" understanding is to be looked for from him, who will both open to 
" those who knock, and will show to those who inquire, and will 
" not refuse those that ask." 1 

" It is a matter requiring great diligence to consider the force 
" of the words used, and to know what belongs to each thing in 
" the meaning of what is said .... In the divine Scriptures .... 
" if an impious ear and a rustic mind should hear them, it may 
" neglect them as useless and unnecessary, but if a hearer or 
" reader, earnestly desirous of the knowledge of God, shall have 
" approached them, whose frequent reading and gift of spiritual 
" grace shall have given him knowledge to discern and under- 
" stand the several matters contained therein, he will admire 
" every thing, and wall use them according to their proper powers 
" and qualities," &c. 2 

1 " Hoc forte insolens existimetur. Plane insolens est, si nobis hanc gloriam 
preesuniimus, si tantum infirmitati nostra? licere volumus, ut tantis temporibus 
abstrusa, tantis huinani generis obscura aetatibus, in quibus intelligendis frustra 
reges laboraverint, ipsi doctores et magistri legis erraverint, nos stulti sseeulo 
et purgamenta mundi et deliramenta sapientibus eorum intelligentiam gloriemur. 
Sed tamen intelligimus ; quia non mendax est qui dixit, Petite et dabitur vobis ; 

quarite et invenietis, pulsate et aperietur vobis Non ergo ex nobis est quod 

intelligimus, sed ex eo qui quae ignorabilia erant fecit intelligi. Itaque ab eo 
speranda intelligentia est, qui et pulsantibus aperiet, et quaorentibus demonstrabit, 
et petentibus non negabit." Id. In Ps. 125. § 2. col. 407. 

2 " Magna? diligentise res est, virtuteni verborum collocatorum expendere, et 
scire quid cuique rei sub eorum qua; dicta sunt significatione sit proprium 

"In divinis Scripturis .... si eas impia auris et mens rustica audiat, tamquam 
otiosas et non necessarias negligat ; at vero si calens ad cognitionem Dei auditor 
aut lector adstiterit, et cui frequens lectio et spiritalis gratiae donum scientiam 
dijudicandi singula intelligendique praestiterit, mirabitur omnia, atque his se- 
cundum naturales eorum virtutes et efficientias utetur .... collatis et virtutibus et 
temporibus et rebus, non imperite his quae sibi comperta fucrhit utatur." Id. In 
Ps. 134. § 1. col. 468. 


" He is the best reader [of the Scriptures] , who looks for the 
" meaning of the words from the words, rather than imposes a 
" meaning upon them, and takes away a sense, rather than brings 
" it ; nor forces upon the words the appearance of that sense which, 
" before reading, he presumed to be the meaning." l 

" We trust, therefore, that thou, God, wilt give an im- 
" pulse to the commencement of this fearful undertaking, and 
" strengthen us in its progress, and call us to communion with 
" the prophetic or apostolic spirit, that we may understand their 
" words in no other sense than that in which they uttered 

" them, &c Grant us, therefore, the knowledge of the 

" meaning of the words, the light of intelligence, the force of 
" the statements, the true faith, &c." 2 

" Let us from the words look for the sense, from the sense let 
" us gather the purport, and from the purport let us apprehend 
" the truth." 3 

" Let us seek the meaning in the following context. For the 
" faith is to be derived not from our will, but from the force of 
" the words." i 

" The meaning of the words must be sought, either from what 
" goes before, or from what follows." 5 

" The man of the world does not comprehend the faith of the 
" Apostle ; and no other words than his own explain the declara- 
" tions in which he has expressed his views." 6 

1 " Optimus lector est, qui dictoruni intelligentiarn exspectet ex dictis potius 
qaam imponat, et retulerit magis quani attulerit; neque cogat id videri dictis 
contineri, quod ante lectionevii prsesuniseritintellig^udiiru." Id. De Triu. lib. i. 
§ 18. col. 776, 7. 

2 " Exspectamus ergo, ut fcrepidi hujus eoepti exordia incites, et profectu accre- 
scente confirmes, et ad consortium vel prophetalis vol apostolici spiritus voces : ut 

dicta eoruni non alio quam ipsi locuti sunt sensti apprehendamus, etc Tribue 

ergo nobis verborum significationem, intelligentia? lumen, dictorum honorem, 
veritatis fidem, etc." Id. ib. § 38. col. 786. 

3 " Ex verbis sensum sequamur, ex sensu rationem intelligamus, et ex ratione 
veritatem apprehendamus." Id. ib. Ub. v. § 7. col. 858. 

4 " Intelligentias igitur sensum in consequent ibus requirainus. Non enim fides 
l-x arbitrio nostro, sed ex dictorum est ineunda virtiitibus." Id. ib. lib. vii. 
§ 33. col. 939. 

6 " Dictonnn intelbgentia aut ex pra?positis ant ex consequent ibus expetatur.' 
Id. ih. lib. ix. § 2. col. 985. 
6 M Apostolicam fidem saculi homo non cajiit, et sensBE Mii diela alius pnotex 
qisius sermo non explieat." Ii>. ib. § 10. col. 990. 


" Nor, in truth, would human infirmity cany itself forward 
" to the knowledge of heavenly things, if it were not taught to 
" understand the divine and inscrutable nature, by God bestowing 
" upon it the gift of knowledge, through the teaching of 'the Spirit. >n 

Another similar passage we have already quoted in a previous 
section of this chapter." 

Such are the statements of Hilary on the means by which the 
sense of Scripture is to be ascertained. 

Epiphanius. (fl. a. 368.) 

The testimony of Epiphanius is worthy of especial notice, as 
peculiarly clear and strong in favor of the views for which we 

" The Scripture/' he says, " always endeavouring to preserve 
" men from falling into extremes, leads the mind, from every 
u quarter, into the middle path of truth. . . . the whole Scripture 
" sets before us with clearness the right path with respect to 
" truth." 3 

" You see how clear all things are relating to the truth, and 
" no contradiction in the Scripture." 4 

Again ; having pointed out various texts of Scripture in refu- 
tation of the Arian heresy, he says, " You see that all things 
" relating to Christ are easy, and nothing in them perplexed." 5 
" The divine Scripture is lifegiving, and has nothing to offend 
" the faithful, or that can palliate blasphemy against the Word" 6 

1 "Xec sane huniana infirnritas in ccelesteni scientiaro se ipsa proveheret, nisi 
Deo donum sciential per doctrinam Spiritus largiente ad cognitionem divinas et 
iniperspicabilis naturae erudiretur." Id. In Ps. 118. [119.] lit. 12. § 1. col. 309. 

2 See p. 115 above. 

3 'Aei yap.f) ypa<pi\ ao~<pa\i£ofjLtvT) ras Kara to axpov irruxreis rwv avOpwitoiv, e'/c 

■navraxoOiv rbv vovv cvvdyei iirl rr)v fj.iar\v ttjs aXrideias 68o'e Ttjs ndo-qs 

ypa<prjs ffa<pws irepl a\r)8tias ripiiv r^\v 6$bv xmoridi^itajs. Epirn"A>". De Haeres. 
liar. 57. Xoet, § 10. Op. ed. Paris. 1G22. vol. i. p. 488. 

4 Opas u>s iravra ra rrjs a\r)6fias ffaxpr) inrapxet, Kal oi/Sfv ivavriov iv ttj 
ypcupfj. Id. lb. bser. 66. Munich. § 41. i. 654. 

8 'Opas ori iravra rod Xpiffrov Ke7a, kcu ouSei' h> avro7s crrpayya\ia>Ses. Id. 
ib. h&r. 6'J. Arian. § 38. i. 760. 

6 Tfjs 6(tas ypaspfis, (wtikiis ovot)s, Kal fxifitv tx"" (T ''l^ *?S irpoffKo/xfia iticttois, ?/ 
e.'s iKarrwp.a t3\ao-<pr)/j.las irpbs rbv hoyov. Id. ib. Iult. 6'J. Arian. § 3'J. i. 762. 


Epiphanius, then, knew nothing of the doctrine that Scripture 
is so ambiguous, that an Arian may, without any offence against 
sound reason, find his errors there. 

Again ; in reply to the same heretics, he says, — " And thus 
" all things are clear and perspicuous, and no contradiction, nor 
" anything at all tending to involve us in fatal error, as these 
" men, in their wicked imaginations, pretend." l 

And a little further on he tells us, how their errors arose, 
namely, from their " not taking what is said as it was spoken, 
" but putting an erroneous meaning upon it from their own 
" fancies, and, from what is said, giving to that which is cor- 
" rectly spoken a false interpretation, in accordance with their 
" own erroneous conceits." 2 Their fault was, not in their 
supposing that Scripture was expressed in sufficiently plain terms 
for them to understand what it meant, but that they were not 
contented to take Scripture as they found it, and interpret it in 
its obvious sense, but strained it to their own conceits. 

Again ; still more clearly, while replying to the same here- 
tics, — " Observe, ye servants of Christ, and sons of the holy 
" Church of God, and the orthodox faith, that there is nothing 
" difficult in the divine Scripture, nothing obscure, but all things 
" are marvellously written, and rendered perfect, to forward our 
" salvation." 3 

Again ; — " All things are clear in the divine Scripture to those 
" who are willing to come to the divine word with a pious mind ; 
" and not having cherished within themselves a diabolical spirit 
" to hurl themselves headlong into the depths of death." 4 

1 Kal ovtw -rravra iffrl ffacpT) Kal Stauy?}, Kal ovSev ivavriov, ovSe Bavdrov irapa- 
ttXoktjs %X 0V f ?5os iv rrj dflu ypa<prj, us ovtoi irpo<paal^ovrai, irovrjpd iavroTs 
iirivoovvres. Id. ib. § 55. i. 778. 

2 Ov KaOu<s eiprjTcu rb prjrbv tx ovT€S t «M* KaKws inrovoovvTes, Kal anb ^njrov 
rb KaAus zlp-r\p.£vov Kara, ttjv /cok>V ainuv iir6voiav TrapepfiTjvevovTes. Id. ib. § 56. 
i. 778. 

3 'Opart Xpicrrov 0€pdirovr(s, Kal viol tt}s aylas tov @eov 'E/c/cATjcrias, Kal opQo- 
So^ov Triareoos, on ovdev iv rfj 6ela ypa<prj aKoAibv, ovSe o~TpayyaAta>5fs, aWd to 
irdvra davfiacricos els rijv T)\x.ejipav aumriplav yiypairrat. Kal reTeKeiwrat. Id. ib. 
§ 60. i. 787. 

4 ndvTa yap o-a<prj iv rij 8ela ypa<prj rots ^ovKojxivois evcrefSzl Xoyifffxy irpocrip- 
X«(T0oi t£ Oelu \6yw, Kal fiy SiaPoArjv [SiafioAiKT)v, Petav.^\ ivepyeiav iv kavrols 
iyKio-<rri<ravTas eavrovs KaTaaTpecptiv els ra ffdpaBpa tov Qavdrov. Id. ib. bser. 
76. Anom. § 7. i. 920. 


" Everything that is in the divine Scripture, and everything 
" that concerns the holy faith, is lucid to us, and nothing difficult, 
" or contradictory, or obscure." l 

" For God is come, and the divine Scriptures explain all 
" things to us clearly ; for there is nothing in them difficult or 
" obscure." 2 

And from these Scriptures Epiphanius learnt the true faith, 
for he says, " The true faith, as preached everywhere, is declared 
" to be this, as I at least conceive, having been taught it from the 
" Scriptures, that there are three holy ones," &c. 3 

And the requisites, the only requisites to which he adverts, 
for the right understanding of these Scriptures, are the careful 
study of them, and the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit. 

Thus he speaks on these points. 

Respecting the former, thus ; — ■" All the divine words," he 
says, " are not to be understood allegorically, but to be taken in 
1 ' their proper sense ; but they need to be considered and appre- 
" hended, that we may know the force of each argument." 4 

Respecting the latter, he speaks constantly ; not as our oppo- 
nents do, as if the teaching of the Holy Spirit was only to be 
expected through the teaching of the Church, but as an opera- 
tion upon the heart of the individual, leading him into the know- 
ledge of the truth. 

This Spirit, he tells us, will enlighten the diligent reader of 
the Scriptures. " Search," he says, " the divine Scriptures, and 
" learn the meaning of the Holy Spirit ; and the Spirit itself 
" that knows the Father and the Son, will reveal to thee the 
" knowledge of the Word, the Son of God, that you may not 
" wander from the truth, and lose your own soul/' 5 

1 Tlavra rifuv (poireiva ra ttjs Betas ypcMprjs, Kal ra ttjs ay'tas iriareas, Kal 
ouSev tTKoAtbv, ?) evavr'tov, $ ffrpayyaAtaides. Id. ib. p. 975. 

2 'O ®ebs yap ^A.0e, Kal els [_? dele eis] irdvra rifuv ffacpijvi^ovfftv at Belat ypa- 
<pai. oiiSev yap ev avrah earl aKoAibv, 4) arpayyaAtwoes. Id. Ancorat. § 41. ii. 16. 

3 Tliffrr) be rj KaBoAov KTjpvKoov (pccvr), a'vrr] cnjaa'tverai, ais eydi ye ol/xat, kottj- 
Xovptevos e« ypa<pwv, rp'ta ayta, k. r. A. Id. ib. § 67. ii. 71. 

4 Tlavra ra Beta prifxara ovk aAArtyopias SeTrat, aAAa ws ex €t * Beoip'tas oe SeTrat, 
Kal ai<r By crews, ets rb etSevat e/cacrrTjs imoBecreais r))v ovva/xtv. Id. Adv. H&'res. 
hser. 61. Apostol. § 6. i. 510, 11. 

5 'Epevvriaov ras Betas ypacpas, Kal fidBe rov ay'tov Tlvev/j.aros r))v 8vvay.iv, Kal 
avrb rb Tlvevfjta rb ytvwcrKOv rbv Tlarepa, Kal rbv Tibv, anoKaAinrret [? anoKa- 


But by those who have not received the enlightening influence 
of the Spirit, the Scriptures are not understood. " The divine 
" words being spoken by the Holy Spirit, are not understood by 
" those who have not received the gift and grace of the Holy 
" Spirit." * 

For he is the only effectual teacher ; " The Holy Spirit .... 
u that teaches all things, that witnesses concerning the Son, that 
" proceeds from the Father and from the Son, is the only guide 
" to truth, the interpreter of the holy laws, the teacher of the spiri- 
" tual law," §e. ~ 

Hence he gives us the exhortation, — " Let us understand the 
" meaning of the Scripture, that the letter may not become 
" death to us. For, saith he, [i. e. the Apostle] the letter 
'■ killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. Let us receive the Spirit, 
" that we may be profited by the letter. The letter doth not 
" kill ; in the letter is life. But it will kill him who comes 
" without understanding to the letter, and that has not the rc- 
" vealing Spirit opening the letter, and unfolding that which is 
" contained in it." 3 From which we may observe, that this 
spiritual influence is not a thing of which all baptized persons 
are possessed, but a peculiar influence vouchsafed for a par- 
ticular purpose, of which they may be destitute. 

Hence, lastly, he speaks thus of the dispositions and qua- 
lifications necessaiy for a right understanding of the Scrip- 
tures : — 

Writing against the Noetians, he says, "But, in every respect, 
" to one who possesses a mind inclined towards God, and is 

Actyet] ffoi r)\v rov Aoyov rov Tiov rov Qeov yvaxriv 'iva fir] irAavriOfjs ttjs a\r)6elas, 
Kal awoAecrys rrjv creavrov ^vxhv- Id. Aiicorat. § 19. torn. ii. p. 25. 

1 'Ectti Qeia ra (5ijfmTa Vlveiifxart ayiw Asyojxtva, &yvcocrra 5e Toils /Utj el\Ti<p6o-t 
Tlvev/jLaros ayiov Swpeav Kal x<*P" / - I D - Adv. haeres. ; Iiser. 69. Arian. § 43. i. 766. 

2 Tb Tlvevfj.a rb hywv rb 5i.5d.aKOv ra. irdvra, rb fxaprvpovv irepl rov Tiov, t 

irapa rod TIarpbs Kal e/c rov tiov, /x6vos oSrjybs oATjSeicts, v6fx.uiv i\rfyT]rr\% ayiwv, 
Tn>evfj.ariKov vofxov v<priyT]ri)s, k. t. A. Id. Aiicorat. § 73. ii. 78. 

3 Nor)0~b>fitv rrjv ovvafi.iv rr/s ypafprjs, 'iva fxr] yevrjrai T]fuv rb ypa/xfj.a davaros. 
Tb ypajxfxa yap, <pT]0~l, airoKreivtc rb 5e Tlvtv/jLa faoiroie?. AafStofiev rb Tlviv/xa, 
'iva w(pe\T]6ufj.ev eK rov ypd/xfxaros. Ov ypd/xfj-a awoKreivei, iv r$ ypafi/xari rj 
£wr). 'AiroKreva §e rbv aavveroos r<Z ypdfM/xart ■Kpoatpy6l J > f:VOV ■> Ka -l /"*? €%ovra rb 
<ppd£ov Tlvev/xa, rb avolyov rb ypd/xfj-a, Kal airoKaAxnrrov rb 4v avrw. Id. lb. 
§ 22. ii. 27. 


" enlightened by the divine Scripture and the Holy Spirit, their 
" doctrine is easy of refutation, and appears full of all folly." 1 

Again ; writing against the Arian errors, he says, — " As 
" to all things in the divine Scripture, to one who possesses the 
" Holy Spirit, and has received of the Lord an attentive mind, 
" there is nothing of ivhich it is difficult to see the meaning ; either 
" as to the nature of our feelings towards the Father, or towards 
" the Son, or towards the Holy Ghost. But all things are 
" spoken in truth in the divine Scriptures most perfectly by our 
" Lord himself and his Apostles, and the holy Prophets sent 
" by him, but, nevertheless, prudently with a regard to each 
" point handled, and in each place, according to the subject 
" treated of." 2 

Basil of Cesarea. (fl. a. 3/0.) 

"All Scripture," says Basil, "is given by inspiration, and 
" profitable, composed by the Spirit for this purpose; that, as 
" in a common repository for medicines for the soul, we all may 
" each of us choose out hence the cure of our own malady." 3 

Replying to the question, Whether he who should not do the 
Lord's will, but should also neglect to inform himself what it 
was, had any ground of hope, he says, " Such a one evidently 
" pretends ignorance, and cannot avoid the punishment of his 
" sin. For, saith our Lord, if I had not come and spoken unto 
" them, they had not had sin ; but now they have no cloak for 
" their sin, the holy Scripture everywhere announcing the will of 
" God to all."* 

1 noj'TTj 8e ti£ rbv vow els Qebv KeKrr)fj.evcf>, Kal iv 6elq ypcxpjj, Kal iv Tlvev/xart 
ayiw KaTTivyao-jxiVu? evOveKeyKros 6 ai>Tu>v Aoyos, Kal irao-qs avoids e/x.Tr\eus (pal- 
verai. Id. Adv. haeres. ; ban-. Xoet. 57. § 3. i. 482. 

2 Tldvra iv rfj Beta ypa(prj t$ KeKTT]jxevcf Tlvevua aytov, Kal vow iyprryyopov irapa. 
Kvplov el\i)(p6ri, oi/Sev icrrt OKoKibv virovorio'ai, f) irddovs eltios els rbv Tlarepa, ^ 
els rbv Tlbv, ovSe els rb aywv TIvevfj.a- dAAa irdvra TeAetorara, oIkovouikSis 5e els 
eKdcrrr\v xp*' Lal, > Ka ^ * v eKao~T(j> r6ircp Trpbs rb inroKeifj.evov iv aArjdelq, iv rais Oeiais 
ypa<pais eXpi\rai inr' avrov rov Kvptov, Kal twv avrov 'Airoo'roAciiv, Kal rwv ayiwv 
Tlpotyyrwv rwv inr' avrov aireo-raAfxevoiv. Id. ib. haer. Arian. § 66. i. 792. 

3 Tlao~a ypatpT) Oeoirvevcrros Kal ixpeAiuos, Sta rovro o~vyypa<pe7ffa irapa rov 
Tlvevfiaros, 'lv\ uiairep iv koivw rwv i^uxwf la-^pelw, irdvres &vQpwtrot -rb ta/xa tov 
oliteiou irddovs eKaffros iKAeywy.eQa. Basil. C.E5AE. In Psalm, i. § 1. Op. ed. 
Ben. torn. i. p. 90. 

4 AijAis inriv A tomvtos o-xv^-OYTiQifjievos ttjv dyvoiav, Kal &<bevKTOv ex*' rr\s 


" The things that appear of doubtful meaning, and obscurely 
" delivered in some places of holy Scripture, are clearly explained 
" by what is openly expressed in other places." 1 

"The best way to discover our duty, is the study of the 
" inspired Scriptures .... Whatever any one may see that he is 
" deficient in, by frequent use of them he will find, as from 
" some public repository of medicines, the suitable remedy for 
" his infirmity." 2 

" Having the comfort that flows from the divine Scriptures, 
" thou wilt need neither me nor any one else to enable thee to 
" see what it behoves thee to do ; having from the Holy Spirit 
" advice which is all-sufficient, and guidance to that which will 
" conduce to thy welfare." 3 

" I entreat her to spend her life in the study of the oracles of 
" the Lord, that her soul may be nourished with sound doctrine, 
" and her mind may grow and increase more than her body by 
" nature." 4 

He tells us, also, that the heretics always " take care not to 
" teach simple souls from the divine Scriptures, but to circum- 
" vent the truth by wisdom derived from without." 5 

a/xapTias tt\v Kpicrtv el /J-r) r)A8ov yap, (prjcrlv 6 Kvpios, Kal iXaXijcra avTots, ap.ap- 
rlav oiiK dxov vvv 8e irp6(pa<riv ovk ex ov(ri T*pl T7Jr a/xaprtas avTwv, ttjs ay las ypa- 
<br t s iravraxov iraai rb d4\rip.a tov Qeov StayyeWovarjs. Id. Reg. brev. xly. 
ii. 429. 

1 Ta a/x(bl$o\a Kal 4iriKeKa\v/j./j.4vws elpr)o-6at Sokovvto ev ricri tSttois tt)s 
6eoiri/€vffrov ypacprjs, inrb twv 4v aWois tSttois 6p.oAoyovp.4vwv cra<py)vi^€Tai. Id. 
lb. cclxvii. ii. 506. Quoted by Photius in art. Eulogius, 225. p. 761. ed. 

2 Me-yiVrij 5e ob~bs irpbs ttjv tov Ka8r]K0VT0S evpeffiv, koI 7] neXtTT] twv Beowvev- 

utwv ypa<pwv irep) Sirep av e/coffTos 4vdews ix ovros eavrov aicrdavriTai, 

4k€lvw [e/ceiVais] TrpooSiaTplfZwv, oTov un6 tivos koivov larpeiov, rb irp6o~<popov 
evpio-Kei t$ ap^waT-fi/jLart (pa.pp.aKov. Id. Epist. ad Gregor. ep. 2. (al. 1.) § 3. 
iii. 72, 3. 

3 "Exovca 5e tt)v 4k twv Oe'twv ypacpwv wapaKArifftv, ovre r)p.wv ovre aAXov Tivbs 
Seydrio-r) irpbs rb to deopra ffvvopav, avTapKT) t))v ht tov ayiov Tlvevp.aTOS %x ovo ~ a 
<rvp.fiovAiav, Kal oSriyiav irpbs t6 <rvp.(p4pov. Id. Epist. ad viduani. ep. 283. (al. 
284.) iii. 424. 

4 TlapaKaAw 4v ttj fieAfTr) twv Aoyiwv tov Kvptov b~tayetv avTrjv, Xva (KTpe- 
tprjTai virb ttjs ayadr)s SiSaaKaAias t^v xpvx^v, Kal eTTib'Lb'w Trpus avtrfo-iv Kal 
p4ye8os 7] Sidvoia avTijs, puAKov r) to" o-wfxa vir6 ttjs (pvaews. Id. Ep. ad vid. 
ep. 296. (al. 285.) iii. 434. So elsewhere he calls the Scripture Tpo<p)) tyvxwv, 
hom. in Ps. 59. § 2. i. 190. 

5 Tovto yap gvtoIs kel icrrw firipaAis, p.?) 4k twv Beiwv ypacpwv b'ib'dffKitv to.s 


And in a work that has been by almost universal consent 
attributed to him, he thus accounts for the occasional obscu- 
rities of Scripture, and shows how he considered they were to 
be met. " As therefore," he says, " our Creator, without grudging 
" us the enjoyment of those things, has not permitted that all the 
" necessaries of life should be born with us, as in the case of the 
" brutes, but has arranged that the want of necessary things 
" should be an exercise of our understanding ; so, also, he has 
' ' contrived the obscurity that is in the Scriptures for the benefit 
" of our mind, in order to rouse its energies ; first, in order that 
" being occupied with these, it may be withdrawn from lower 
" pursuits ; then, that what is acquired by labor, may be the 
" better loved, and that which has taken a long time to acquire, 
" may remain the longer. But those things which are easily 

" obtained, are but little valued in the enjoyment More- 

" over, there is need of purity of life, that that which is obscure 
" in the Scriptures may be discerned, for the promotion of 
" moral virtue. And in addition to purity of life, there is 
" need, also, of exercise in the Scriptures, that the excellent 
" mysteries of the divine oracles may, by continual study, be 
" impressed upon the soul." 1 

Thus are the obscurities that are in the Scriptures to be 
solved; not by "Tradition" or " the Church," but by study 

aKepatoTcpas v//u%as, aAA' e'/c ttjs QoiOev ffo<pias irapaKpoveaddi tt)v a\T)Qetav. Id. 
Epist. ad Caesar, ep. 8. (al. 141.) § 2. iii. 81. 

' "flcnrep oi)V if tovtois ovxl fiaffKaivwv t)jjuv irpos rd £rjv a<popfJi.a>p irapaTrXrjcricos 
tois a\6yots o'waTroyei/Tidrjvai izavra 6 SrjfjLiovpyds rjixwv ov <Twexcup7]aei', a\\a 
ri)v ei/Seiav tSiv avayKatccv yvjxvafftov fifiiv ttjs Stavoias e/j.Tix avr ) ' a ' ro > ovtoo Kal 
TtjV iu Tats ypa<paus affd<p€tai/ in' ixpeKeta rod vov, Stcyeipaiv avTov tt\v ivepyetai', 
eireT^Scixre - TtpaiTov fj.ev, 'iva tovtois ivaffxohovfjLevos twv x €l P° va " / o.'p^KTjTaf 
eTretra '6ti tii ir6vai kt7]64vt<z fia\\6v mas aya.Tra.Tat, Kal to. Sta fiaKpov XP OVOU 
irpoffyevSfi.eva \xovt\x.u>Tipov Trapafxevef Siv 8e p"qo*ia i) ktt)o~is, ov irepiffirovdaffTos tj 

air6\avffts Upbs 8r] tovto XP fia T7 J S *" T< ? &W Ka8apoTT]Tos, wgtz ko.I irpds 

ttjv ttjs t)8ikt)s apeT-qs iirtTi^o'evfftv t<) iv Tats ypa(pats KiKa\vfi/x4vov StayycocrOTJvat. 
Xpeta Se wpds ttj KaQap6TT)Ti tov $lov Kal ttjs iv Ta7s ypa<pats StaTpt^TJs, 'iva t3 
ae/JtvoirpeTrhs Kal [ivarTtKov tuiv Ot'taiv Xoy'twv 4k ttjs ffvvexovs /ueAerTis ivTVKoidfj ttj 
tyvxfi- Comment, in Is. Prsef. § 6. i. 382. The Benedictines, though placing 
this among the works falsely ascribed to Basil, admit that this Commentary has 
been always by almost general consent attributed to Basil, and that the only 
learned critic who has opposed this view is Petavius, and that it is certainly a 
work of the fourth century or thereabouts. See " Monitum," ed. Ben. i. 377. 



and meditation. And the aid of God's Holy Spirit is to be 
sought by us as our helper therein. For, saith Basil, "If we even 
" fail of treating the matter as it deserves, yet if, by the aid of 
" the Spirit, we do not depart from the mind of Scripture, we 
" shall not be altogether condemned as reprobates ; and by the 
" aid of [divine] grace shall afford some edification to the Church 
" of God." 1 

" I see, that, even in the oracles of the Spirit, it is not open 
" to every one to undertake the investigation of the things 
" spoken, but to him who has the spirit of discernment, as the 
" Apostle hath taught us, saying, in the distribution of spiritual 
' ' gifts, ' For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, 
"&c. J [1 Cor. xii. 3.]" a 

Gregory of Nyssa. (fl. a. 370.) 

Of the opinion of Gregory of Nyssa on this subject, we may 
judge from the following passage in his observations on the 

" Let us observe," he says, "the skill with which the subject 
" is treated ; by which, though the course of life that is agree- 
" able to virtue is so difficult and arduous, and the doctrine 
" of the divine mysteries obscure, and the theology mysterious, 
" and having its perfection in propositions difficult of cornpre- 
" hension, he hath made it so easy to be comprehended and srceet, 
" that this instruction is not only an object of regard to men of 
" perfection, who are already purified in the senses of their soul, 
" but has become a possession which even women may call 
" their own ; and brings pleasure to babes, as one of their toys ; 
" and serves to old persons for a staff and rest ; and that he 

1 Ei yap Kal tt)s a|i'as airo\fnr6fj.eda, a\\' eav too fiovXrifxaTos ttjs ypcuprjs fir) 
eKirtauifx.ei' tt? fioriBela too Tlveifiaros, Kal aiirol ovk an6fi\TiToi irauTeXws KptSr]- 
a6fj.t6a, Kcd rfj avvepyiq rrjs x a P iT0S oiKoHonfa riva tt? 'EKuKricriq too ®eov wapt- 
£6fj.e0a. In Hexaem. horn. 2. § 1. i. 12. 

2 'E7&> 5e bpS>, on Kal iv ro7s Koyiots too TYviVjxaros ov jra*rl e|7JV eirifidWetv 
rfj e|eTocrei twv elpr)fievwv, aWa. r<f %x ovTi T0 "fvev/xa rris ZiaKpicrtais, Kadws iSi- 
Ssjei/ rjfias 6 clttSttoXos, 4t> Tals Siatpecretri ruiv yapi<rfjia.T<ov fhrAir § /.iff yap Sia 
too wuev/xaTos SiSoTai \6yos aoipias, k. t. A. Epist. ad Neocssar. op. '204. (al. 
75.) § 5. Hi. 305. 


" who is joyful, thinks the gift of this instruction belongs to 
" him ; and that he who is in sorrow from misfortune, thinks 
" that such a great blessing, namely, of the Scripture, was given 
" on his account. Moreover, those who are journeying by land 
" or by sea, or those who are engaged in sedentary operations, 
" and, in short, all in every occupation, both men and women, 
" well and ill, reckon it a misfortune to lose any opportunity of 
" discoursing on this sublime instruction.-" l 

Such is his language, not with respect to the clear and plain 
statements of the New Testament, but with respect to the Book 
of Psalms. And I think, that, from it, we may form a tolerably 
well-founded conclusion, as to what would have been his senti- 
ments on the general question of the aptness of Scripture, as a 
whole, to teach the faith. 

Ephr^m Syrus. (fl. a. 370.) 

" We," says Ephrsem Syrus, " will apply our own mind to 
" the truth, under the guidance of the inspired Scripture. For, 
" they whose minds are not enlightened by the divine teaching, 
" are far from the truth/' 3 

" "Wherefore, my brother, watch diligently, and be always 

1 Tijs i^erdcrews aKOTrrtffw/j.ev t))v iirivoiav, St' f/s ovtws aKXrjpav re Kal ffwTovov 
oZffav rr]V kot' ap€TT)v noALTflav, ttjv re twv pLV0~T7]piwv alviy/J.aTwSrj SiSaffKaAiav, 
Kal tt)v aTr6pp7)T6v re Kal K€icpifj.fV7jv BvfferpiKTOis Gewpi)fxa(Tiv OeoKoyiav, ovtws 
(v\tjtt6v \_ivKr)TrTov'\ re Kal y\vKe?av eiroirjcrev, ws fir] /jlovov Te\eiots avSpdaiv 
rots ^877 KeKo.dapjxivois to T7)s ^"X'? 5 aladrjTTipia tijv SidaaKa\lav ravTi)v o-irovSd- 
£to~6at, aWa Kal rr/s yvvaiKwvlTiSos ISwv yevecrBai KTrj/xa' Kal vrjTr'iois ws ti twv 
advpixdrwv rjSovrjv (pepttv Kal rois TrapTiXiKOTtpms avrl (iaKTriplas re Kal ava- 
iravffews ylveo~9ai, tov re (paiSpvvofxzvov kavTov vofxi^av elvai tt\s SiSaffKaXias 
touttjs to Swpov Kal tov ffKvOpwTrws €/c TTfpto~Tdo~(ws dLaKei/j.evov, 5Y abrbv oleaOat 
t\v Toiavrrjv ttjs ypa<prjs X°-9 lv SeS6o~6ar db~r)tropovvTes re irpbs tovtois Kal 8cAot- 
nvovTiS &vdpwiroi, f) ricrlv iTri8i<pplois epyacriais izpoffaaxo^oifxtvoi, Kal irdvres ol 
a7ra|o7rA.a;s iv iracriv itnTT)o'ev) aVSpes re Kal yvvalKis, iv vydq re Kal apfiw- 
ffTia, (tffxiav iroiovvTai, to firj §ia cto/hotos ttjv v\f/rj\r]v TavT-r\v ZJiaGKahiav (pipav. 
Gkeg. Ntss. Tract. 1. in Psalm. Inscript. c. 3. Op. cd. Paris. 1615. torn. i. pp. 
261, 2. 

2 'H/J.e?s 5k Trj a\T}0elq eirr]o~Tr]o , oiu.ev [eiri<rHj<ro/x€i'] rr/v eavrwv vovv, 6Srjyovfievoi 
vnb TTJs 6eoirvevo~Tov ypa<prjs. Ol yap /xri Trepi\aixir6fxevoi tov vovv tnrb rrjs Oeias 
StSaffKaXias, irSfyw ex 01 ' '' T0V ka-VTwv vovv curb tt)s aKrjddas. Kl'ItliT.M. Sye. 
Adv. Gentil. error. Op. ed. Rom. 1732 et seq. torn. iii. p. 49. 

s 2 


" earnest in attending to reading, that it may teach thee how to 
" avoid the snares of the enemy, and obtain eternal life. For, 
" the reading of the divine Scriptures restrains the mind wan- 
" dering into error, and gives knowledge towards God. For it 
" is written, Be still, and know that I am God. Thou hearest, 
" my brother, that he who rests from other pursuits to study 
" the divine Scriptures with a true heart, receives the know- 
" ledge of God. Wherefore, my brother, neglect not thy soul, 
" but give thyself to reading and to prayer, that, thy mind may 
" be enlightened, and that thou mayest become perfect and 
" entire, wanting in nothing. Let others boast of their con- 
" verse with great men, and rulers, and kings. Boast thou 
" before the angels of God at conversing with the Holy Spirit, 
" through the holy Scriptures. For it is the Holy Spirit that 
" speaks through them. Therefore, be earnest in reading the 
" holy Scriptures, and persevering in prayer. For, as often 
" as thou dost meet God through them, so often thy body and 
" soul is sanctified. Therefore, my brother, knowing this, be 
" more frequent and earnest in readiug them." 1 

And, for the interpretation of the word, he thus directs us to 
the teaching of the Holy Spirit. " When thou art about to sit 
" down and read, or to hear any one reading, pray to God first, 
" saying, Lord Jesus Christ, open my ears and the eyes of 
" my heart, that I may hear thy words, and understand and do 
" thy will .... Always thus pray to God, that he may en- 
" lighten thy mind, and manifest to thee the meaning of his 

1 Aib, d8eA(£>e fJ.ov, vrftyov ac<pxKu>s, Kal o-rrovb'affov ael rfj avayvwaei irpotTKoK- 
Aa(r6ai, 'Lva ae 5iSa|;; wws Sei eK(pvyetv ras irayiSas tov 4x&pov, Kal KaraAafielv 
tV alwuiov ^wriv. 'SvcrTeWei yap avdyvaxris twv de'iwv ypcupeov rbv vovv Tr\av<l>- 
\xevov, Kal Swpurai yvwcriv els Qebv. Yeypa-KTai yap, ~2,x o ^< ra ' rf i «al yvure Sri 
4yd> el/xt 6 @ebs. 'Akovzis, a.8eA<p4 fxov, 8ti yvSxnv Qeov \a/x$dvei 6 <rxoAa£W 
ra?s Oeiais ypacpais 4v aATjdivfj KapSla. Atb, d8e\(p€, ^7; d/.ie\^a7)s rris tyvxys <rov, 
aAAa a-x<^Aa£e T ?7 avayvuxrei, Kal rah evxais, 'df-cos (pwricrdfj crov rj Sidvoia, Kal 
'6-rrus y4vi\ r4\ews, Kal 6\6K\ripos, if /J.7]dei>l Kenrofxevos. 'AAAoi Kavx&vrai 4irl 
(TvvofxeXia ^.eyiffrdvosv, apx&vruiv re Kal fiaoi\4aiv. 2u Se Kavxaaai e/HTrpoo-Oev 
tu>v ayyeKcov tov &eov ffwofxeXuiv t<£ ayicp Tivevfiari Sia. twv ay'iuv ypacpwv. Tb 
yap ayiov nvevfid 4<m rb KaKovv 81' avrSiv. ~2,irov8a^e oiu 4vTvyxdveiv rats 
6etais ypatpah, Kal irpocrKapTepeiv rats ei>xa7s. 'OffaKis yap evrvyxdveis rtf ©€<£ Si' 
avruiv, ToffavraKis aytafcrai aov rb oSifxa Kal tyvxy. Tovto olv yivuiaKuiv, a.St\<pe 
fxov, o-Trov$a£e irvKvortpoos ivrvyxdveiv avrafs. Idem. De Sec. Adv. Op. torn. iii. 
p. 99; repeated in Lis Treatise, De Panoplia, torn. iii. pp.230, 31. 


" words. For, many have erred through confidence in their 
" understanding, and professing themselves to be wise have 
" become fools, not understanding what was written, and have 
" fallen into blasphemies and perished." l 

Here we see, what Ephrsern considered to be the way to avoid 
error and heresy; not the taking our faith from any body of 
men, but from the Holy Scriptures, with earnest prayer to God 
to enable us rightly to understand them. 

Macarius of Egypt, (fl. a. 373.) 

Our next testimony is from Macarius. Let the reader con- 
sider, how far the following testimony is reconcileable with the 
notion that Scripture is insufficient to teach the faith. " God, 
" the supreme king," says Macarius, "has sent the divine Scrip- 
" tures as his Letters to mankind, having clearly declared by 
" them, that those who have called upon God, and believed in 
"him, may claim and receive the heavenly gift."- Are they 
written, then, so as to be insufficient to deliver his message ? 

Ambrose, (fi. a. 374.) 

" He," saith Ambrose, " that is versed in the w6rds of the 
Apostles, is acquainted with the commands of Jesus our Lord." 3 

" The books of the heavenly Scriptures are good pastures, by 
" which we are fed by daily reading, by which we are renewed 
" and refreshed, when we taste the things that are written, or 
" ruminate frequently upon that which has been but tasted. 

1 "Orav 5e /xeAAjjs Ka6eo~Trjvai Kal avayv&vai, tj avayivwaKOVTOs aKovcrai, 5e?j- 
6t)tl irpG)Tov tov ©eou, \4y&v, Kvpie 'lrjcrov Xpicre dvoi^ov to. Sira, Kal tovs d<p0a\- 
fxovs ttjs KapSlas jJ.ov, tov a-Kovcral fie twv \6yoiv vov, Kal ffvvtevcu, Kal Trotrjirai to 

8e\r)nd o~ov Oi»toj irdvTOTe tvx ov r V ©*<?» 07ra>s (pbiTicrri crov tov vovv, Kal 

StjAcocjj ffoi tV Svva/xiv toiv \6ytnv airrov. TloWol yap £ir\avr)6r)0-av 6app-q- 
aavTis ttj avveaei aiiTuv, Kal <pdo~KovTts (ivat ao<pol cfj.aipdv6r]o-av, / voovvTts to 
yeypanfieva, Kal irepieTrecrov els fihao-<p-t)fj.ias Kal anciKovTO. Id. lb. p. 101 ; re- 
peated in his Treatise De Panoplia, p. 233. 

2 Taj Beias ypa<pas uffTrep eir« aireo~TeiAev 6 fiaaiXfiis @ibs Tots avOpd- 
irois, 5r]\d>cras 8i' avrwv, "iva TtapaKahiaavTes tov Qebv, Kal TriffTcvcravTfs a'tT-fjo'cuO'i 
Kal \d&wffi Scopeav ovpdviov. Mac ah. .Egypt. 1k.hi. 39. ed. aim Op. Geegob. 
NSOOSS. Pur. 1022. p. 203. 

3 " Qui exercetur in verbis Apostolorutn Jesu Domini niandata COgnoecit." 
Ambbos. In Ps. 118. Serm. 2. § 35. Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. col. 993. 


" Upon these pastures the flock of the Lord is fattened." And a 
little further on, on the words, "thy word is a light unto my 
feet," he says, " The eye of our mind is fed with the light of 
" this spiritual lamp, which shines before us in this night of 
" the world, lest, like those who walk in darkness, we should 
" stagger with uncertain footsteps, and be unable to find the 
" right path." l 

" That no one may err, let him follow those things by which the 
" Holy Scripture, that we may be able to understand the Son, hath 
" pointed him out. He is called the Word, he is called the Son, 
" he is called the Power of God, &c." 3 

"When I consider, august Emperor, how it is that the 
" human race has so erred, as that most, alas ! follow different 
" views respecting the Son of God, it appears by no means won- 
" derful, that human knowledge hath erred respecting heavenly 
" things, but that it hath not rendered obedience to the Scrip- 
" tures." 3 

It required only " obedience to the Scriptures" to follow the 
true faith. 

" In most places Paul so explains his meaning by his own 
" words, that he who discourses on them can find nothing to add 
" of his own ; and if he wishes to say anything, must rather per- 
" form the office of a grammarian than a discourser." 4 

Other passages, confirmative of the same view, might easily 
be added. 5 

1 " Bona pascua libri sunt Scripturarum ecelesthun, in quibus quotidiana lec- 
tione pascimur, in quibus recreainur ac reficiuiur, cum ea quae scripta sunt degus- 
tamus, vel summo ore libata frequentius nuninamus. His pascuis grex Domini 

saginatur Pascitur oculus noster interior lucernso spiritalis luruiue, quae 

nobis in bac mundi uocte pra?lucet, ne, sicut in tenebris ambulantes, incertis titu- 
bemus vcstigiis, et viam verain invenire nequeanius.'' Id. In Ps. 118. Serai. 14. 
§§2, 5. i. col. 1140, 1141. 

2 " Certe, ne quis possit errare, sequatur ea quibus Scriptura Sancta, ut intelli- 
gere possimus Filium, significant. Verbum dicitur, Filius dicitur, Dei Virtus 
dicitur," etc. Id. De fide, lib. i. c. 2. ii. 447. 

3 " Consideranti mini, Imperator Auguste, qua ratione sic erraverit genus 
homiuum, ut de Dei Filio plerique, vaj mihi, diversa sequerentur, nequaquam 
satis minim videtur, quia erravit bimiana scientia de supernis, sed quod Scripturia 
uon detulit obedientiam." Id. De fide, lib. iv. c. 1. ii. 521. 

4 " In plerisque ita sc ipse suis exponat [i. e. Paulus] sermouibus, ut is qui 
tractat, nihil inveniat quod adjiciat suum ; ac si velit aliquid dicere, grammatici 
magis quain disputatoris rtmgatur niunere." Id. Epist. Class. 1. ep. 37. § 1. ii. 930. 

•'• See Do Cain et Abel, lib. ii. c. 6. § 22. i. 216. In Psalm. 37. Prsef. § 7. i. 818. 


And of that spiritual teaching by which the meaning of 
the word is made known to the hearts of individuals, he speaks 
thus, — 

" Does it not sometimes happen, that when we think of any- 
" thing out of the Scriptures, and cannot find its interpretation, 
" while we doubt and seek, suddenly he [i. e. God the Word] 
" appears to come to us over the mountains, that is, the highest 
° doctrines, and then appearing to us as it were above the hills, 
" illuminates our mind, that he may infuse into our understand- 
" ings that which seemed difficult to us to find out ? Therefore 
" the Word, from being as it were absent, becomes present in 
" our hearts. And, again, when anything is rather obscure to 
" us, the Word is as it were withdrawn, and we desire his pre- 
" sence as that of one who is absent; and, again appearing, he 
" shows himself to us, and is as it were present to us in the 
" knowledge of those things we are inquiring into/' l 

" God teaches and illuminates the minds of each, and pours 
" into them the light of knowledge, if thou dost open the doors 
" of thy heart, and dost give entertainment to the light of 
" heavenly grace. When thou art in doubt, inquire diligently ; 
'• for he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks it is opened. 
" There is much obscurity in the prophetical Scriptures ; but 
" if with the hand of thy mind thou dost knock at the gate of 
" the Scriptures, and diligently examine those things that are 
" hidden, thou wilt begin by degrees to collect the meaning of 
" the words; and it shall be opened to thee by no other than 
' ' the Word of God, of whom thou hast read in the Apocalypse, 
" that the Lamb opened the sealed book," &c.~ 

lu Psalm. 118. Serm. 12. § 28. i. 1123. lb. Serai. 22. § 19. i. 1251. Exhort. 
virg. c. 9. ii. 292. Epist. Class. 1. ep. 18. § 7. ii. 835. 

1 " Xoiine cum aliquid de Scripturis cogit^mus, et explanationem ejus invenire 
non possuinus, dum dubitamus, dum quaerimus, subito nobis, quasi super montes, 
allaarima dogmata, videtur adseendere; deinde, quasi super colles appareus rotes, 
illuminat mentem ; ut infundat sensibus quod invenire posse difficile videbatur ? 
Ergo quasi ex absente fit praesens Verbum in cordibns nostris. Et rursus cum 
aliquid nobis subobscurum est, tamquam subducitur Verbum, et tamquam absentis 
adventuin de»ideramus ; et iterum apparena oeteodit se nobis, tamquam praesens 
sit nobis in Lis qua; requirimus cognoscendis." Id. In Psalm. 118. Serm. 6. 
§ 9. i. 1035. 

: " Docet Deus, et mentes illuminat singulorum, et claritatem cognitionis 


" To enable him to interpret the word, let him seek the 
assistance of God." 1 

Jerome, (fl. a. 378.) 

We pi-oceed to Jerome. 

" "What other life can there be without the knowledge of the 
" Scriptures, through which we become acquainted with Christ 
" himself, who is the life of those who believe V 2 

" It is sufficient for me that I should speak so as to be under- 
" stood, that, disputing concerning the Scriptures, I should 
" imitate the plainness of the Scriptures." 3 

" Love the Holy Scriptures, and wisdom will love thee ; love 
" her, and she will preserve thee ; reverence her, and she will 
ee embrace thee ; let these be the ornaments on thy breast and 
" in thy ears." 4 

Again, commenting on Is. c. viii. vv. 19, &c, he says, that 
the meaning of the prophet was, that if they wished to know 
doubtful matters, they must apply themselves with greater 
diligence to the Law and the testimonies of the Scriptures, 
adding, " To us God hath to a greater extent given the Law 
" and the testimonies of the Scriptures, which, if you are 
" unwilling to follow, you will not have light, but darkness 
" will always overwhelm you, which shall pervade your land and 
" doctrine." 5 

infundit, si tu aperias ostia cordis tui et ccelestis gratiae recipias claritatem. 
Quando dubitas, diligenter inquiras ; qui enim quaerit, invenit, et ei qui pulsat, 
aperitur. Multa obscuritas est in Scripturis propheticis ; sed si manu quadam 
mentis tuae Scripturarum janiumi pulses, et ea quae sunt occulta, diligenter ex- 
amines, paulatim incipies rationem colligere dietorum ; et aperietur tibi non ab 
alio sed a Dei Verbo, de quo legisti in Apocalypsi quod Agnus libruin signatum 
aperuit," &c. Id. In Psalm, cxviii. Serm. 8. § 59. i. 1078. 

1 " Ut verbum emolat, Deum qu33«at." Id. Expos. Luc. lib. viii. § 63. i. 14S6. 

2 " Quae enim alia potest esse vita sine scientia Scripturarum, per quas etiam 
ipse Cbristus agnoscitur, qui est vita credentium." Hieeon. Ep. ad Paidam, 
ep. 30. § 7. Op. ed. 2a. Vallars. Yen. 17G6 et scq. torn. i. col. 149. 

3 " Mild suificit sic loqui ut intelligar, ut de Scriptuxia disputans Scripturarum 
imiter Bunplicitatem." Id. Ep. ad Damasnm, ep. 30. § 14. i. 168. 

4 " Ama Scxipturas Sanctas, et amabit te sapientia; diligc cam, et servabit te; 
bonora illam, et amplexabitm- te. Haec monilia in pectore et in aurilms tiiis 
haereant." Id. Ep. ad Demetriad. ep. 130. § 20. i. 997. 

5 "Si vultis nosse quae dubia sunt, magis vos Legi et testimoniis tradite Scrip- 


" It is the custom of the Scriptures to subjoin what is manifest 
u to what is obscure, and openly and plainly to declare what they 
" have before spoken enigmatically." x 

And as it respects the interpretation of the Scriptures and the 
way in which men are led to embrace their true meaning, thus 
he speaks : — 

" Unless all things that are written are opened by him who 
" hath the key of David, who opens and no man shuts, and 
" shuts and no man opens, they will be opened by no other 
" interpreter" " 

" In expounding the Holy Scriptures, we always need the 
presence of the Spirit of God." 3 

" Marcion and Basilides, and the other heretics, have not the 
" gospel of God, because they have not the Holy Spirit, without 
" which the gospel that is taught becomes human." 4 

And speaking of commentaries and commentators, he says, — 
" What place have commentaries ? . . . . They repeat the opinions 
" of many persons, and say, Some interpret this place in such 
" a way, and others in such another way." 5 But we find no 
notice of the principle of traditive interpretation, on which our 
opponents insist. 

Theophilus of Alexandria, (fl. a. 385.) 
For the sentiments of Theophilus of Alexandria on this 

turarum Magis nobis Deus legem dedit et testimonia Scripturarum, qua; si 

sequi nolueritis, non habebitis lucem ; sed semper caligo vos opprimet, qua? trans- 
ibit per terrain vestram atque doctrinam." Id. In Is. c. 8. vv. 19 et seq. iv. 
126, 7, and 128. 

1 " Moris est Scripturarum, obseuris manifesta subnectere, et quod prius sub 
Benitrmatibus dixerint, aperta voce proferre." Id. In Is. c. 19. v. 1. iv. 201. 

2 " Is'isi aperta fuerint universa qua; seripta sunt ab eo qui babet clavem David, 
qui aperit et nemo claudit, claudit et nemo aperit, nullo alio reserante pandentur." 
Id. Ep. ad Paulm. ep. 58. § 9. i. 325, 6. 

3 " Semper in exponendis Scripturis Sanctis illius [i. e. Spiritus Dei] indige- 
mus adventu." Id. In Mich. c. 1. ver. 10 et seq. vi. 441. 

4 " Marcion et Basilides et caeterse haereticorum pestes non habent Dei evan- 
gelium, quia non habent Spvritwm Sanctum, sine qoo humanum fit cvangelium 
quod docetur." Id. In Galat. c. 1. ver. 11, 12. vii. 386. 

6 " Commentarii quid operis babent ? Alterius dicta edisserunt ; quSB obscm'e 
seripta sunt, piano sermone manifestant; multorum sententias replicant, et 
dicunt, Hunc locum quidam sic edisserunt, alii sic interpretantur," &c. Id. 
Contra Ruf. lib. i. § 16. ii. 471. See, also, ib. lib. iii. § 11. ii. 541. 


matter, let us observe the force and bearing of the following 

" By the daily reading of the Holy Scrip tures, let each one 
" pour oil into his faculties, and prepare the lamp of his mind, 
" so that, according to the precept of the gospel, it ' may give 
" light to all that are in the house/ (Matt. v. 15.) ... . Let 
" us mingle with the heavenly choir, as if already in mind 
c< translated thither ; and viewing the abodes of glory, let us be 
" now what we are about to be. Of which blessedness the Jews 
" have made themselves unworthy, who having left the riches of 
" holy Scripture, and given themselves up to the teaching of 
" their rabbies, to this day it is said of them, ' They do always 
" err in their heart.' [Ps. xciv. 10.] " l 

Again ; " Whence, if we wish to be partakers of salvation, 
" and cleaving to the pursuit of virtue to purge our souls of 
" their evil propensities, and to wash away whatever impurity 
" there is in us, by the continual meditation of the Scriptures, 
" contemplating as it were under a clear sky the openly revealed 
" doctrines of the Christian faith, let us hasten to celebrate the 
" feast of heavenly joy." 2 

Again; — "Leaving the shades of error and the cold of 
" ignorance, let them, like the Magi, turn themselves to the rise 
" of the Sun of righteousness, and inhabiting the warmest region 
" under heaven, which is experienced in the heat emanating 
" from the Scriptures, let them, despising the madness of 
" Origen, ask their ecclesiastical pastors, and say, ' Where is he 
" who is born King of the Jews V And when they shall have 
" found him lying in the manger, that is, in the plain unadorned 

1 " Quotidiaua lectione Sanctarum Scripturaruin quisque infundat oleum sensu 
suo, et paret mentis lucernam, qua? juxta pra:ceptuin Evangelii 'luceat omuibvis 

qui in domo sunt ' [Matth. v. 15.] coelestibus misceamur ehoris, ut jam 

nunc illuc mente translati, et augustiora videntes loca, simus quod futuri siunus. 
Qua beatitudine indignos se fecere Judaei, qui Scripturse Sancta? opibus derelictis, 
et ad pauperis intelligentise adquiescentes magistros, bodie audiunt; 'semper 
errant corde.' " [Ps. xciv. 10.] Theophil. Alex, in Epist. Pascbal. la. §§ 1, 2. 
in Bibl. Yet. Patr. ed. Galland. torn. vii. p. 616. 

2 " Unde si volumus salutis esse participes, et adba?rentes studio virtutuin ani- 
lnarum vitia purgare, et quidquid in nobis sortbmn est, jugi Seriptnrarum medi- 
tatione diluere; quasi sub sudo apertam doctrinanun BCientaam OQntemplanteB, 
festinemus superna? lietitiae festa celebrare." Id. in Ep. Pasch. 2a. § 1. p. 6-!;j. 


' f discourse of the Scriptures, let them offer to him gold and 
" frankincense and myrrh, that is, an approved faith shining 
" with all the radiancy of truth, the fragrancy of a sweet smell - 
" ing conversation and continence." l 

Again; — " Sailing in the same vessel with the Saviour our 
" Lord, like his disciples, we have passed over the sea, and 
" entering the haven of rest, we arrive at the lovely shore of the 
" divine volumes, and pluck the various flowers of knowledge, and 
" kissing the snowy limbs of wisdom, we remain fixed in her em- 
li braces .... For as many as read the Holy Scriptures ivith dili- 
" gence, and wander through the variegated meadows of the 
"heavenly discourses, enjoy this blessedness."- In these pas- 
sages, then, Holy Scripture is clearly set forth as the great 
teacher on all points connected both with faith and practice. 

Augustine, (fl. a. 396.) 

We proceed to Augustine, who, in a passage already quoted, 
has thus borne his clear and decided testimony to the plain- 
ness of Scripture in all the important points of faith and 
practice ; — 

" In those things," he says, " which are plainly delivered in the 
" Scriptures, are found all those things which contain faith and 
" practice, hope, that is, and charity." 3 

1 " Erroris tenebras frigusque ignorantiae reliiiquentes, ad ortum solis justitiae, 
juncti magoruni studiis convertantur, et inhabitantes calidissimam plagaui eceli, 
quae in Scripturarum fervore seutitur, pastores ecclesiasticos, spreta Origenis 
amentia, sciscitentur, et dicant ; ' ubi est qui natus est rex Judseorum ? ' Cum 
ilium invenerint jacentem in praesepi, humili videlicet eloquio Scripturarum, 
oiferant ei aurum et tus et myrrhaui, id est, fidem probatam et onmi veritatis 
splendore fulgentem, conversationisque bene olentis fragrantiam et continentiam." 
Id. in Ep. Pasch. 2a. § 19. p. 630. 

2 " dun Salvatore Domino, instar discipulornm illius, navigantes transfreta- 
vimus, et portum quietis intrantes, pulcherrimum divinorum voluminum litus 
ainplecthnur ; varios earpentes flores scientiae, et nivea membra sapientiee pressis 
tigentes osculis, in ejus haeremns amplexibus. . . . Quotquot enim diligentius Scrip- 
turas Sanctas legnnt, et per picta sermonum coelestium prata discurrunt, hac 
beatitudme pei-fruuntur." Id. in Ep. Pasch. 2a. § 20. p. 630. 

3 " In iis quae aperte in Scripturis posita sunt, inveiuuntur ilia omnia quoa con- 
tinent fidem morcsque vivendi, spem scilicet atque caritatem." AV&UBTOI Dc 
doctr. Christ, hb. ii. c. 9. Op. ed. Beu. torn. iii. part. 1. col. 21. 


And in the context of this passage he observes, — " The Holy 
" Spirit hath most wisely and profitably so fashioned the Holy 
" Scriptures, as by the plainer places to meet the wants of nian- 
" kind, and by the more obscure to remove their pride. For 
" hardly anything is extracted from those obscurities which is 
" not elsewhere found most plainly delivered/' 1 

And to the same effect he says elsewhere, — " The phraseology 
" of Scripture, how accessible is it to all, although seen through 
" by very few ! The things which it contains plainly expressed, 
" like a familiar friend, it speaks without obscurity to the heart 
" both of unlearned and learned. But in those things which it 
" speaks mysteriously, it does not exalt itself by a lofty phraseo- 
ft logy, so that the slow and unlearned mind dare not approach 
" it, like a pauper with a rich man ; but it allures all by a simple 
" phraseology, whom it not only feeds with the truth that is 
" plainly expressed in it, but also exercises with that which is 
" hidden, having the same thing in the parts that are easy as in 
" those that arc difficult of comprehension. But lest the things 
" plainly expressed should be disdained, the same things again 
" mysteriously expressed are sought after, the things sought 
" after are again in a certain way brought back to the mind, and 
" the things thus brought back to the mind are pleasantly signi- 
" fied to it. By these things thus advantageously ordered, both 
" perverse minds are corrected, and weak minds nourished, and 
" great minds delighted." 2 

" In the whole extent of the Holy Scriptures we are fed by 

1 " Magnifice igitur et salubriter Spiritus Sanctus ita Scripturas Sanctas modi- 
ficavit, ut locis apertioribus fami occurreret, obscurioribus autem fastidia deter- 
geret. Nihil cnim fere de illis obscuritatibus eruitur, quod non planissime dictum 
alibi reperiatur." Id. De doctr. Christ, lib. ii. c. 6. iii. part. 1. col. 22. 

2 " Modus ipse dicendi quo Sancta Scriptixra contexitur, quam omnibus acces- 
sibilis, quanivis paucissimis pcnetrabilis. Ea quae aperta continet, quasi amicus 
familiaris, sine fuco ad cor loquitur indoctorum atque doctorum. Ea vero quae in 
mysteriis occultat, ucc ipsa eloquio superbo erigit, quo non audeat accedere m< na 
tardiuscula et inerudita, quasi pauper ad divitem ; sed invitat omnes bumili 
sermone, quos non solum manifesta pascat, Bed etiam secreta eserceat veritate, lioc 
in promtis quod in reconditis babeus. Sed ne aperta i'astidirentur, eadem rursua 
operta desiderantur, desiderata quodam modo rcnovantur, renovata suaviter 
iutimantur. His salubriter et prava corriguntur, et parva nutriuntur, et magna 
oblectantur ingenia." Id. Ep. ad Volus. ep. 137. (al. 3.) c. 5. ii. 409. 


" the parts that are plain, our faculties are exercised by those 
" that are obscure ; by the former our hunger is driven away, by 
" the latter our pride." l 

" God hath brought the Scriptures down to the capacity of 
infants and babes." 2 

Again, speaking on one particular passage, he says, — " What 
" can be plainer than this ? What clearer ? I fear lest perhaps 
" when I treat of it desirous to explain it, that which by itself 
" is perspicuous and clear, may become obscure. For they who 
" do not understand these words, or pretend that they do not 
" understand them, much less understand mine, or admit that 
" they understand them ; unless, perhaps, they may for this 
" reason quickly understand ours, that it is allowable for them 
" to despise them when understood, but with the words of the 
" Apostle the same is not allowable. Moreover, where they 
" cannot interpret the words otherwise, in accordance with their 
" own views, they reply even with respect to those that are clear 
" and plain, that they are obscure and of doubtful meaning, because 
" they dare not call them wicked and perverse." 8 This, it is 
true, is spoken more especially of a particular passage, not of the 
Scripture generally ; but nevertheless the passage appears to me 
to contain some useful and pertinent remarks, in connexion with 
the point now in question. 

Again ; " If Scripture should not use such words, it would not 
" find its way in a familiar manner to all kinds of men, ivhose 
" benefit it wishes to provide for, that it may both alarm the 
" proud, and rouse the negligent, and exercise the inquiring, 

1 " In omni copia Scripturarum Sanctarum pascimur apertis, exerceuiiu- obseuris: 
illic fames pellitur, hie fastidium." Id. Serm. de verb. Dom. 71. (al. 11.) c. 7. 
v. 389. 

2 "Inelinavit Scripturas Deus usque ad infantium et lactentium capacitatem." 
Id. In Psalm, viii. § 8. iv. 42. 

3 " Quid hoc apertius ? quid clarius ? Vereor ne forte cum dissero volcns id 
exponere, obscurum fiat quod per se lucet et claret. Qui enim haec verba non 
intelliguut, aut se non intelligere frngunt, mea multo minus iutelligunt, vcl se 
intelligere profitentur : nisi forte propterea cito intelligent nostra, quia conceditur 
eis intellects deridere, de Apostoli autem verbis non idem conceditur. Propterea 
ubi aliter ea secundum suam sentcntiam interprctari non possunt, etiam clara et 
manifesta obscura et incerta esse respondent, quia prava et perversa non audent." 
Id. De op. Monach. c. 9. vi. 482. 


f ' and provide food for the intelligent ; which it would not do, 
" if it did not first lower itself, and in some degree stoop to those 
" that are fallen'' 1 

"Believe me, whatever is in the Scriptures is sublime and 
" divine ; truth is altogether in them, and a system of discipline 
" most suited to restore and renew the soul ; and evidently so 
"fashioned, that there is no one who cannot draw from thence 
" what is sufficient for him, if only he comes to draw, as true reli- 
" ffion requires, with an earnest and pious mind" 2 

Once more ; " If," he says, " I should be ignorant, as to any 
" of those things, how it may be demonstrated and explained, 
" yet, nevertheless, this I am convinced of, that, even here, the 


If such testimonies as these are not sufficient, I know not 
what words could be used to express the view for which we 

Moreover, the directions he gives for the interpretation of 
Scripture, are the same as those we have quoted from the pre- 
ceding Fathers. 

In his Treatise " De doctrina Christiana," he discourses at 
large on this subject, and his directions are such as these ; — 
after saying that " in those things that are delivered plainly in 
" the Scriptures, are found all those things that contain faith 
" and practice," he adds, — " an acquaintance being made with 
" the language of the divine Scriptures, we must proceed to the 

1 " Si non utatur Scriptura talibus verbis, non se quodam modo familiarins 
insinuabit onini generi horninum, quibiis vult esse consultum, nt et perterreat 
superbientes, et exeitet negligentes, et exerceat quserentes, et alat iiitelligentes: 
quod non faeeret, si non se prius inclinaret, et quodam modo descenderet ad 
jacentes." Id. De Civ. Dei, lib. xv. c. 25. vii. 410. 

2 " Quidquid est, mihi crede, in Scripturis illis, altuni et divinum est : inest 
omnino Veritas, et reficiendis instaurandisque aniniis accommodatissima disci- 
plina ; et plane ita modincata, ut nemo inde haurire non possit, quod sibi satis 
est, si modo ad bauriendum devote ac pie, ut vera religio poscit, accedat." Id. 
De ntil. cred. c. 6. viii. 54. 

3 " Et si eniru quodlibet horum, quemadmodum demonstrari et explicari possit, 
ignorem : illud tamen credo, quod etiam bine divinorura eloquiorum clarissima 
auctoritas esset, si bomo id sine dispendio promissse salutis ignorare non posset." 
Id. De pecc. mer. et remiss, lib. ii. e. nit. x. 71. 


" discussion and resolution of those things that are obscure, 
" that instances from the plainer places may be taken for the 
" illustration of the obscurer passages, and some testimonies of 
" passages that are clear, may remove doubt from those that 
" are obscure." l Again ; " Where things are clearly stated, 
" there we must leam how they are to be understood in obscure 
" passages." 3 And he exhorts us to consult the Hebrew and 
Greek originals. 3 the context, the circumstances, the persons, 
the times, &c. of what is said; 4 and, in a case of doubt, the in- 
quirer must " consult the rule of faith which he has received 
" from the plainer places of Scripture, and the testimony (auc- 
" toritate) of the Church ; " 5 of which " rule of faith," he says 
elsewhere, that " it is sufficiently known to the faithful, through 
the Scriptures." 6 He is, no doubt, alluding to the Creed ; but 
this, be it recollected, he held to be, — not (like the Tractators) 
something derived from the oral teaching of the Apostles, and 
fuller or plainer than Scripture ; but — a formula, derived imme- 
diately from the Scriptures, its words being scattered through 
the divine Scriptures, and collected thence, and put together, as 
a help to the memory. 7 The reference, therefore, is altogether 
agreeable to the view we are here supposing Augustine to take ; 
the Creed being merely, in his opinion, a compendium of the plain 
passages of Scripture, which it was in the power of every one to 
draw for himself from Scripture ; and by these plain places, as 
he constantly tells us, the obscure are to be interpreted. 

1 " Facta quadam familiaritate cum ipsa lingua divinarum Scripturarum, in ea 
quae obscura stmt aperienda et discutienda pergenduui est, ut ad obscuriores loeu- 
tiones illustrandas dc manifestioribus sumantur exempla, et qusedam certarum 
sententiarum testimonia dubitationem incertis auferant." Id. De doctr. Christ, 
lib. ii. c. 9. iii. part. 1. col. 24. 

2 " Ubi apertius ponuntur, ibi discendum est, quomodo in locis intelligantur 
obscuris." Id. ib. lib. iii. c. 26. iii. part. 1. col. 56. For similar remarks, see 
Enchirid. ad Laurent, c. 68. vi. 221, 2. De Civ. Dei, lib. xi. c. 33. vii. 298. Ee- 
tract. lib. ii. c. 54. i. 59. 

3 Id. ib. lib. ii. c. 11. col. 25. 

« See ib. Ub. iii. cc. 3, 5, 10, 17, 18, 27, 28. 

5 " Consulat regulam fidei quam de Scripturarum planioribus locis et Ecclesiae 
auctoritate percepit." Id. ib. lib. ii. c. 2. iii. part. 1. col. 45. 

6 " Etsi voluntatem auctoris libri hujus indagare nequivimus, a regula tamen 
fidei, quae per alias ejusdem auctoritatis sacras litteras satis fidelibus nota est, non 
aberravimus." Id. De Civ. Dei, lib. xi. c. 33. vii. 298. 

J See vol. i. p. 142. 


Thus, also, in his controversy with the Donatists, he says, 
" Let us choose the passages that are plain and clear. And if 
" passages of this kind were not found in the Holy Scriptures, 
" there would be no means by which the dark passages might be 
"opened, and the obscure explained." 1 "Let the Donatists 
" point out their Church ... in all the canonical testimonies 
" of the sacred books. Nor let them do this so as to collect 
" and relate those that are couched in obscure, or doubtful, or 
" figurative language, which every one can interpret as he likes, 
" according to his own view. For such passages cannot be 
" rightly understood and explained, unless, first, those things 
" that are most plainly delivered, are held by a firm faith." 2 

The Christian's faith, then, rests upon, and is directed hy, frst, 
those plain passages of Scripture that are level with the capacity 
of all, and in which the rule of faith is contained, and from 
which every serious and devoted mind may draw what is suffi- 
cient for his salvation ; and then upon what the more obscure 
passages, when illustrated by the plain, appear to deliver. 

And in judging of the meaning of those more obscure pas- 
sages, we must take care not to depart from the truth as deli- 
vered in the plain ; as Augustine elsewhere exhorts. " "When/' 
he says, " we read the divine books, in so great a number of 
" orthodox senses that are extracted from a few words, and 
" fortified by the sound Catholic faith, let us prefer that which 
" it may appear certain was the meaning of him whom we are 
" reading : but if this is not evident, then certainly that which 
" the circumstances of the text do not oppose, and which agi'ees 
" with the sound faith ; but if the circumstances of the text, 
" also, cannot be fully investigated and discovered, at least that 
" only which the orthodox faith prescribes."-" 

1 " Quaeque aperta et maiiifesta debgamus. Quae si in Sanctis Scripturis non 
invenirentur, nullo modo esset, unde aperirentur clausa, et illustrarentur obscura." 
Id. Ep. ad Cath. contra Donat. oulg. De unit. Eccles. c. 5. ix. 312. 

2 " Ecclesiam suani deruonstrent .... in omnibus canonicis Banctornm librorum 
auctoritatibus. Nee ita, ut ea eolligant et commeinorent, ijure obscure vel am- 
bigue vel figurate dicta sunt, quae quisque, sicut vuluerit, interpretetur secundum 
sensnm suum. Talia enim recte intelligi exponique non possunt, nisi prius ea, 
quae apertissime dicta sunt, firma fide tcneantur." Id. ib. c. 18. (al. 16.) ix. 371. 

3 " Cum divinos libros legimus, intanta miiltitudine verorum intellectuum, qui 


To such passages as these, the Romanists are accustomed to 
reply, that such directions for the interpretation of Scripture 
are all very good in their way, but insufficient and uncertain ; 
and that the traditive interpretation of the Church is alone 
certain and authoritative. To which I answer, that if there is 
any certain and authoritative interpretation, so far as it exists, 
these modes of endeavouring to obtain the sense of Scripture 
are not good, nor to be resorted to, because the former demands 
our assent ; and by resorting to the latter, we neglect a privilege 
given to us, and expose ourselves unnecessarily to a liability to 
error. They are good only on the supposition that we are 
bound, as individuals, to endeavour to ascertain the meaning of 
God's Word, and have no certain and authoritative interpreta- 
tion to guide us. And therefore it cannot be supposed, that 
Augustine, when giving these directions, held all the while, that 
there was another, and an infallible, method of knowing what 
the meaning of Scripture is. And secondly, those who contend 
that he did, are bound to show from his writings that such was 
the case. 

I will only add, that Augustine, like the Fathers in general, 
looked through the means to a Divine Teacher to make them 
effectual. " Perhaps," he says, " we act rashly, in that we wish 
" to discuss and investigate the words of God. But why were 
" they uttered, except that they may be known ? Why were 
" they published abroad, but that they may be heard ? Why 
" were they heard, but that they may be understood ? There- 
" fore may God assist us, and grant us as much as he thinks fit 
1 ' to vouchsafe." l 

de paucis verbis eruuntur, et sanitate Catholicse fidei niuniuntur, id potissimum 
deliganius, quod certum apparuerit euro sensisse, quem legimus : si autevn hoc 
latet, idcerte quod circumstantia Scripturae non impedit, et cum sana fide con- 
cordat : si autem et Scripturae circumstantia pertractari ac discuti non potest, 
saltern id solum quod fides sana prEescribit." Id. De Genes, ad lit. lib. i. c. 21. iii. 
part. 1. 131, 2. 

1 " Temere fortasse facimus, quia discutere et scrutari volurnus verba Dei. Et 
quare dicta sunt, nisi ut sciantur ? Quare sonuerunt, nisi nt audiantur ? Quare 
audita sunt, nisi ut intelligantur ? Confortet ergo nos, et donet nobis aliquid 
quantum ipse [i. e. Deus] dignatur." Id. In Johann. tract. 21. § 12. iii. part. 



Chrysostom. (fl. a. 398.) 

Our next witness is Chrysostom ; to whose testimony we 
would more particularly call the attention of the reader, as sup- 
porting, in the most express and unequivocal way, the view for 
which we contend. 

I refer the reader, first, to his third sermon on Lazarus, the 
whole of which bears strongly upon our present subject ; and 
where, among other remarks of the same tendency, he speaks 
thus ; — " As to smiths, the instruments of their art are the 
" hammer, the anvil, and the tongs ; so the instruments of our art 
" are the Apostolical and Prophetical books, and all Scripture 
" divinely-inspired and profitable. And as they make by their 
" instruments all the vessels they take in hand, so we also, 
" through these, form our souls ; correcting them when de- 
" praved, and renewing them when grown old." 1 And having 
earnestly exhorted his hearers to the study of the Scriptures, 
anticipating the objection that they could not understand them, 
he tells them, that where they did not fully understand, the 
very reading would do them good ; adding this expressive testi- 
mony on the point now in question, — " But, on the contrary, 
" it is impossible that you can remain ignorant of all things in 
" it alike. For, on this account, the grace of the Spirit ordered 
" that publicans, and fishermen, and tent-makers, and shep- 
" herds, and goatherds, and ignorant and illiterate men, should 
" compose these books ; that no one of those who are ignorant, 
" should have it in his power to resort to this excuse ; to the intent 
" that the things spoken might be easily understood by all ; that 
" both the handicraftsman, and the servant, and the poor old 
" woman, and the most unlearned of all men, might gain and 
" be profited by the hearing. For it was not for vain glory, as 
" the heathen, but for the salvation of the hearers, that they who, 

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Kal Txciaa ypa<pr) 6i6irvev<rros Kal axpeKifios. Kal Kaddnep iKtivoi 5i' tKtivoov to. 
CKfirrj wavra, anep av Kafiaxrt, SiaTtKarrovaiv ovtco Sr) Kal ii/xeTs Sta rovrwv rr/i> 
i/zu^tji' t'Jjv rjfMeTfpav xaA./ceuo/ue*', Kal SietrTpa/uyueVjjp tiiopQovfjLtv, Kal ira\aioc9t?(rav 
avaKaivi^oufv. CnRYSOSTOMl Dc Lazaro coucio iii. § 2. Op. cil. Ben. torn, i. 
p. 738. 


" from the beginning, were thought worthy of the grace of the 
" Spirit, composed all these writings." The heathen philoso- 
phers, he adds, sought their own glory, and therefore spoke 
obscurely, " but the Apostles and the Prophets did everything the 
" very reverse of this ; for they set before all the things that they 
" delivered in clear and plain terms, as the common teachers of the 
" whole earth, to the intent that every one might be able, even by 
" himself, to learn what was said from the reading only. . . . 
" For, to whom are not all things in the Gospels plain ?" 1 And 
then proceeding to reason further with the objector on the folly 
of his allegation of obscurity against the Scriptures, he says, — 
" This is an excuse, a pretext, a veil for sloth. Understand 
" you not, what is in the Scriptures ? How, indeed, should 
" you be able ever to understand, when you do not even desire 
" to glance at them ? Take the book into your hands ; read 
" all the historical parts ; and retaining in your memory the 
" parts easy of comprehension, go over frequently the parts 
" that are difficult and obscure. And should you not be able, 
" by assiduous reading, to find out the meaning of what is said, 
" go to one that is wiser, go to a teacher, communicate with 
" him respecting what is written, show much earnestness ; and, 
" if God should see you exercising so much readiness of mind, 
" he will not despise your diligence and solicitude ; but if man 
" should not teach you what you seek, he himself will certainly 
" reveal it. Remember the Eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia 
"... ' But there is no Philip present now.' No, but the Spirit 
" that moved Philip is present. My beloved, let us not trifle with 

1 J AW(us 8e, aSvvarov iravra iiricrr]s ayvoilv Sia yap tovto r) rov Tlvtviiaros 
cpKov6fjL7i(re X°-P ts Tthdvas Kal aAieas Kal o~kt)vottoiovs Kal iroififvas Kal alrrvKovs Kal 
IStwras Kal aypafi/xdrovs Tavra (rvvdelvai to. )Si/3Ai'a, 'Lva fj.rjb'els twv ISiutwv eis 
Tavrrjv $XV KaTa<pevyav tu)V Trp6(pa<riv, lva iracriv evavvoTrra 77 ra. \ey6/j.eva 'lva 
Kal 6 x et P 0T ^X l/ V s > Ka ^ oIk4t>}s, Kal t) xW a y vV7 )i Ka ^ & irawrtnv avdpdnroov ci/aa- 
OfffTaros, KfpSdvr) re Kal w<p(\ri8i] irapa rrjs aKpodaeics. Ou yap irpbs K€vob~o£lav, 
KaOdirep ol QooBev, a\Aa wpbs ttjv awn)plav tSiv aKov6vTuiv Tavra irdvra o-vveOrj- 

Kav ol irapa tt)v apxyv KaTa£tu8(VTes rr)s tov Tlviv/xaros x a P lT0S Oi 8e 

air6(TTo\oi Kal ol irpotpriTai rovvavriov ditav eVonjcraj'. ~2.a<pr) yap Kal SrjKa ra 
Trap' (avTwv KariaTt\o~av aTtaffiv, are Koivol rrjs oiKOVfievris 6vt(.s SiSdffKaKoi, 'lva 
tKaffTos Kal St' eavrov ixavQavnv Svvrjrai (K ttjs avayvwo~ta>s ix6vt)s to \(y6ixiva. 

TiVi yap ovk <-<tti SrjAa ra twv tvayytMwv 'diravra ; Id. lb. §§ 2,3. 

i. 739, 740. 

T 2 


" our salvation. All these things were written for us, for our 
" admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." l 

It would be difficult to find words more expressive of the view 
for which we contend. And yet, perhaps, in the following pas- 
sage that view is carried out so as to be still more strongly 
enforced. It is a favorite reply of the Romanists and Tractators 
upon this subject, to say, (like drowning men catching at a 
straw,) Yes, the Scriptures are clear when the meaning has 
been pointed out, but not before. What sort of an answer this 
is, I leave the reader to determine, for it is almost impossible to 
deal seriously with it. But be its force what it may, it is at 
least demolished, as far as Chrysostom is concerned, by the 
following passage : "Why should I come to church, saith one, 
" if I do not hear some one preach ? This is it that hath 
u destroyed and marred everything. For what need is there of 
u a preacher ? The need arises from our own laziness. For, why 
" is there any need of a sermon ? All things in the divine 
"Scriptures are clear and straight; all things that 
" are necessary are manifest/' 2 They are manifest, says 
Chrysostom, without any preacher to make them so. There 
needs nothing but the words themselves. 

After these testimonies, it may seem almost superfluous to add 
any others. But it may be well to show, that they stand not 
alone in his works, but are borne out by many others scattered 
throughout them. 

1 ^Krjxpts ravra Kal irp6(pa<ris Kal vaiBelas irapaKaXvfifiara. Ou votis ra iyKti- 
/xeva ; Tlvs yap 5wi7<rr; vorjcral Trore, /xrjSe cnr\ws eyKvtyai fiov\6nevos ; AajSe 
fxerd x € W as T ^ Btfi\iov avayvuGi. tV laroplav airaaav Kal ra yvwpi^a Karaaxaiv, 
ra &$7iAa Kal ra aaacpTJ TroWaKts eireAQe. Kav /U77 Svvrjd-fjs rfj crweyeiq rrjs ava- 
yvwffeois evpelv rb Key6fxevov, fidSirrov irpbs rbv aorpwrepov, eX6e irpbs rbv StSd- 
(TkoXov, avaKoivoicrai irepl ru>v elpi)[x.evuiv, iroWrjv iiriSei^ai ri}v rrirovSriv k&v ¥811 
ere 6 &ebs roaavrri K€xpr; / uei'0j' Tjj irpoOv/xiq, ov irepioxperai ffov rr)V aypvirviav Kal 
ry\v (ppoprlSa' aAAa Kav dvOpcoiros fir) 5<5a£j? rb ^qrovpevov, avrbs airoKa\inf/ei 

irdvrws. 'AvafivriffOriTt rov 'Evi>oi>xov rrjs /3affi\i8os Al8t6iraip 'AAA' ov 

irdpeariv 6 fyihiiriros vvv aWa rb Tlvevfxa rb Kivrjffav rbv $LXnnrov irdpecrrt. Mr/ 
Kara(f>povS>iJ.iv ttjs crccr-qplas r,jxwv, ayair-qroi. Tavra irdvra iypatprj 81' rj/uas, irpbs 
vovdealav rj/xwy, els ovs ra rehi) rwv aluvtuv Karrivrr^ffe. Id. ib. § 3. i. 740. 

2 Ti elaepxoixai, <pri<riv, el ovk aKovcc rtvbs 6/j.i\ouvtos ; rovro irdvra dirokaiXe 
Kal 8ie<p6eipe. Ti yap XP ila o^^-Vrov ; 'AttJ) tt)s i)fxerepas pqdv/xlas avri) t/ XP ( ^ a 
yeyove. Aia rt yap 6/xiKias XP 6 ' a > '"'dura o~a<prj Kal ei>8ea ra irapd ra7s 6eiais 
ypa<pah- irdvra ra dvayKaia SfjAa. Id. In 2 Thess. horn. 4. § ult. xi. 528. 


Thus, speaking of the misinterpretations of Scripture by- 
heretics, he says, — " Tell me not, that the Scripture is in fault ; 
1 it is not the Scripture that is in fault, but their folly .... I 
' say this in order that no one may accuse the Scriptures, but 
c the folly of those who misinterpret what is well spoken. For 
' even the devil disputed with Christ from the Scriptures ; but 
c the Scripture was not in fault, but the mind that misinter- 
' preted what was well said." l 

" One thing only the Apostle aimed at, that the whole world 
e might learn something of those things that would be of service 
' to it, and that are able to transfer it from earth to heaven. 
' Therefore he did not conceal his instructions by any darkness and 
1 obscurity .... but his doctrines are more manifest than the rays 
' of the sun .... He has made his words so easy to be understood, 
' that all he has said is clear, not only to men, and those that are 
1 intelligent, but even to luomen and youths." 2 

" If we would thus search the Scriptures with accuracy, and 
' not superficially, we should be able to attain our salvation ; 
1 if we would constantly give our attention to them, ive should 
1 attain the knowledge of the orthodox faith, and the principles of 
' a perfect life." 3 

" Wherever St. Paul says anything obscure, he elsewhere 
interprets himself." 4 

" Look for no other teacher ; thou hast the oracles 
" of God ; no one teaches thee like them. For man often 

1 M^ uoi Aeye 8Y< r) ypa<p7i atria- oi>xl y ypa<pr) atria, dAA' r) ay v a uocrvvt) 

avrwu Tavra Afyw 'iva /U7)8els rds ypa<pas SiafiaWri, dAAd Ti)v ayvwfj.0- 

<twt)v rSiv rd Ka\u>s z\pT)p.iva icaKws kpyn]Viv6vr<jiv . Kal yap 6 5id/3oAos dnb ypa- 
<pwv t£ XpurTqi SieAe'-yeTo - dAA' ovx t) "Yp a <PW curia, aAA' r) Siavoia r) ra Kahws 
upi]p.eva KaKU's hpwvevovaa. Id. Horn. De Sancto Phoca. § 3. ii. 708. 

2 °"E.v p.6vov iffirovSacrev, ottuis r) oIkov/x^vt] tracra' fxadot ti twv xpriaifxcvv Kal Svva- 
pievwv avT7)v dub rrjs yrjs fxeraffrriaai Trpbs rbv ovpav6v Aid tovto ovSi £6<f>()) 

Tifl Kal ctk6tcj> tKpv-tytv tavrov ttjv 5i5a<TKa\iav dAAd ra tovtov Soypara 

iSiv r)\iaKwv aKTivoiv iarl (pavepwTepa roaa\m\v rots prjuaatv tyKaTtfxi^ti/ 

(VK0\iav, ois 1X7) fxivov avSpdcrt Kal ffvvfro?s, dAAd Kal yvvai^l Kal vtots a-navra 
elvai ra \ey6fxeva SvjAa. Id. In Johann. horn. 2. (a! 1.) § 3. viii. 10. 

3 *Av ovt(i> roivvv Qi\<t> tos ypacpas tpevvav fxtra aKptfieias Kal [xii a.Tt\ws, 
SvfqirSfxiGa rrjs auirr]pias tt)s r)[xeTepas iirirvx^v' av Sid iravrbs aureus fvSiarpi- 
fHwfxev, Kal SuyfiaTwf bpQ6rr)Ta, Kal &iov (iao/xiOa r/Kpi^uixfuoy. Id. In Johann. 
horn. 53. (al. 52.) § iii. viii. 313. 

4 Xlavraxov yaporav rt a.<ra<pis eliroi, kavrbv lp/xr)j/fvtt irdkiv. Id. In 2 Cor. 
honi. 9. § 1. x. 4'J'J. 


" hides many things through vain-glory and envy. Hear, I 
" entreat you, all ye that have a care for your life, and get those 
" books that are the medicines of the soul ..... Want of 
u acquaintance with the Scriptures is the cause of all evils." x 

Many others might be added, to some of which I give a 
reference below. 2 

Hence we meet in Chrysostom with constant exhortations to 
the reading of Scripture, together with statements of the great 
benefits that would be derived from its perusal, and the evils 
arising from a want of acquaintance with it. 3 

And for the occasional obscurity of Scripture he gives this 
reason ; — " There is a great and unspeakable treasure, beloved, 
" in the words just read, and there needs an attentive mind, and 
" a sober and vigilant judgment, that nothing may escape us of 
" what is hidden in these few words. For on this account the 
" merciful God has not permitted all things that are found in 
u the Scriptures to be easy of perception, and manifest to us of 
" themselves, and from the bare reading, that he might rouse 
" our sluggishness, and that we might have to exercise great 
" vigilance to derive the full benefit from them. For, those 
" things that are found by labor and research, have usually a 
" better hold upon our minds ; but the things that are easy 
" usually escape quickly from our hearts." "* 

1 MtjSs Treptfieivrjs erepov SiSdaKaXov. ex«'S to \6yia tov Qeov. Oldds ce 
SiSdffKei &>s inelva. Ovtos ix\v yap ttoWo, Kal Sta. KevoSo^lav Kal 5io fiaaKaviav 
iiriKpxmTii ttoWcLkis. 'AKOvcrare, irapa.Ka.Aco, iravTes ol fitcoTiKol, Kal Kraffde fiifiAia 

(pap/xaKa ttjs ipvxys Tovto iravroiv aXriov tSiv KaKWP, rb /Ut; et'SeVaj Tas 

ypacpas. Id. In Coloss. hom. 9. § 1. xi. 391. 

2 See in Genes, horn. 9. § 1. iv. 65. E. lb. horn. 10. § 7. iv. 79. D. In Genes, 
serm. 3. § 1. iv. 655. D, E. In Ps. 41. § 7. v. 141. E. 142. A. In Matt. Prooem. 
seu hom. 1. § 5. vii. 11. C. In 2 Cor. hom. 7. §§ 2, 3. x. 482. E. and 484. D. In 
Heb. hom. 8. § 4. xii. 89. A, C, D. To which we may add the passage, In Act. 
hom. 33. § 4. ix. 258. E. already quoted, pp. 172, 173 above. Also Pseudo-Chry- 
sostomi Hom. de cseco nato. § 1. hut. viii. app. 61. A. which is considered by 
the Benedictines as written by an antient author, probably not much posterior 
to Chrj'sostom. 

3 See In Genes, hom. 29. § 2. iv. 281. A, B, C. In Coloss. hom. 9. § 1. xi. 
390. D. In Genes, hom. 3. § 1. iv. 14. A, B. lb. hom. 10. § 8. iv. 81. C. lb. hom. 
24. § 1. iv. 216. D, E. lb. hom. 60. § 3. iv. 580. D, E. In Eom. Proccm. § 1. 
ix. 426. A, B. 

4 TloAvs 6 8r](ravpbs Kal &<paros, aya-nrjTol, iv tois vp6cr(paroy avayvwaQeiai, «a' 
5e? (TWTfrafXfvqs Stai/olas, Kal Aoyio/j.ou wi)(povros Kal SteyriyepiAti'ov, &><jt( /u^Sey 


Again ; " Why do you say, I kuow not the meaning of these 
" words ? On this very account it behoved you to apply your 
u mind to them. But if not even that which is obscure rouses 
" your mind, much more would you have hastily run over them, 
" if they were clear. For neither is this the case ; neither are 
" all things clear, that you may not be idle ; nor are all things 
" obscure, that you may not despair .... Know you not 
" the meaning of what is said ? Then pray that you may 
" learn it. But it is impossible that you can be ignorant of all 
" things, for many things are of themselves perfectly manifest 
M and clear." 1 

Farther ; as it respects the interpretation of Scripture, and 
the way in which we must ascertain its true meaning, he speaks 
thus : — 

" The Holy Scripture/' he says, " when it would teach us 
" anything of the kind, interprets itself, and does not suffer the 
" hearer to err." 2 

" You see how Scripture interprets itself." 3 

And hence he exhorts us to observe the scope, the context, &c, 
of the passage whose meaning we seek. 

" As a building is weak without a foundation, so the Scripture 
" profits us not, unless we ascertain its scope." 4 " It is not suffi- 

TI/J.US irapaSpa/xuy twv iyKeKpvfi/j.evuv to?s /Spaxe'ci tovtois pi]ixa(Tt. Aia yap 
tovto Kal 6 <pi\di/6pwTros Oebs ovk avrodev, Kal e/c 4/1A.7JS avayvwcrews iravTa ra iv 
reus ypa<pa?s Kflfifva tvcrwoirra Kal 8r)Aa rjfuv rvyxdvetv <rvv£xup r l< Tev i ?**« tt]v 
vcoOelav r)fj.a>v SieytipT), Kal TroAXrjV ttjv aypinrviav 4iriS(i^a/j.€vot, ovtw ttjv e| avTwv 
uxpeAeiav KapTraiawfj.e6a. Eioj0€ yap ttois to fxev /xfra. ttovov Kal ^Tr/creas evpi- 
<TK6fj.eva fxaAAov ifj.Trr)yvvffdai yixSiv ttj Siavoia.- rd 8e' evKoAias, 6uttov d<ptV- 
TaaOat rfjs KapSias rrjs rifxerepas. Id. Ill Gen. I10111. 32. § 1. iv. 316. 

1 Ti (prjs ; ovk oTSa Tiva earl Ta AeyoLxeva. Aj' avrb n*v ovv tovto irpo<r?X€<v 
dXPV"- E« 8e oi>8e rb derates Sieyelpsi aov tt\v ^v\t\v, iroAAai fiuAAov, ei aa(pr) 
r)v, 7rape'5pa/i€s. Ou5e yap tovto, [? read, toDto*] ovts ffacpr] iravTa Io~tIv, Iva tx.rj 
padvtxrio-Tis- oure acracprj, 'Iva ixt) anoyvys. . ." . . Ovk olaOa to Aeyofieva ; Ovkovv 
«3£cu Iva ixadys' ixuAAov 5e aiA.i)x<wov ~"°-vTa ayvoilv to. yap rroAAa avr6d(v earl 
tcaTafrjAa Kal aa<pr). Id. In 1 Cor. horn. 37. § ult- x. 312. 

3 Ka'iTot ye ttjs ayias ypa<pr)s, irntSav fiovAeTai ti toiovtov Tinas SiSaaKav, 
iavTTjv ip/xrivevovcrris, Kal ovk d(piei'cr7js TtAavuaQai tov anpoaTi)v. Id. In Genes, 
hom. 13. § 3. iv. 103. 

3 'Opas irws iavrrjv kppirivevti r) ypa<pri, k. t. A. Id. In Ps. 41. § 6. v. 169. 

4 'Cls yap &vtv d(fj.(Aiov aadpa y oIkoOoixt)- ovtws 6.vtv rrjs tvpeatws rod ffKoirov 
ovk axptAii 7) ypa<pr). Id. In Ps. 3- § 1. V. 2. 


" cient to say, It is written in the Scripture, but it is necessary 
(f to read the whole of the context," &C. 1 

Such are the directions he gives for ascertaining the sense of 

But more especially he exhorts us to seek by prayer for the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit, which he teaches us that every 
Christian is entitled from the promises of God to look for indivi- 
dually, to lead him into the knowledge of the meaning of Scrip- 

f< If," he says, " thou wouldest accustom thyself to pray with 
" earnestness, thou wouldest not want instruction from thy fellow - 
" servants, God himself enlightening thy mind without the inter- 
" vention of any one. ,} 3 

" We have a merciful master, and when he sees us using 
" diligence, and showing a great desire to understand the divine 
" oracles, he does not permit us to stand in need of anything else, 
" but immediately enlightens our mind, and bestows upon us the 
" illumination that comes from him, and, according to his 
" excellent wisdom, implants in our soul the whole of the true 
" doctrine [of Christianity] ." 3 

" If you will attend diligently to the reading of Scripture, 
" you shall need nothing else. For, the word of Christ is tnie, 
" that says, Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened 
" to you." * 

1 Ov toivvv apKU lb fiTreTv, '6ri iv rfj ypacpfj yeypanrai, aAAa xph Ka ^ T h v 
a.Ko\ov6iav avayi/Hvai iracrav, k. t. A. Id. Horn, ill illud, Doniine non est in 
homine, etc. § 2. vi. 160. A similar passage occurs in his Comment, in Joharm. 
honi. 40. (al. 39.) § 1. viii. 236. And Pseudo-Chrys. horn, in diet. Apost. Non 
quod volo facio, etc. § 1. viii. App. 189. 

- Eai/ tdiaris ffeavrbv eiixecrdai /xer' d/cpi/Qeias, oil Serjffri tt/s rrapa tcov ffvvSov- 
Awu SiSaiTKaAias, aiirov aot rod Qeov X W P^ S /J-tcriTov rivbs Karavyd^ovros rijv Sid- 
voiav. Id. De incompr. Dei nat. con£r. Anom. bom. 3. § 6. i. 469. 

Kal yap (piKavdpanrov tx°l xiv Sfo-TrSr-qv, Kal iireiSav fity fiepifjaiwvras ^M« y > Ka ^ 
ir69oi> tto\vh iTri8fua'v/j.€vovs irpbs rr\v rwv Ofiaiv Koyitov Karav6vjo~iv, ovk a.(pir]<Ttv 
ertpov nvbs SeTjflf/j/ai, dXA' eufle'ais (pwri^ei rbv rj/j-erepon Xoyia^ibv, Kal ttJv Trap' 
aiirov eMa^fv x a P i C (Ta h * a ^ Kara ry)v cvfxrixavov aiirov <ro<piav -rra.o~av rijy 
a\r]6rj SidaffKaXiau eVr/flrjcri t?7 i)jxirepa tyvxy- Id. In Genes, horn. 24. § 1. 
iv. 216. 

'Tfxus tl 6e\en fj.era Trpodvfiias ■npotrix ilv r V o-vayvdian, obb'ivbs krtpov 8e7j- 
9r)(T€(r0€. 'A\ptvSip yap 6 rod Xptarov \6yos, elir&v (rjre7re, Kal tvpr)o~tr(, Kpov- 
«T€, Kal avoiyj\o-iTai vjjuv. Id. Ill Iloui. Proceni. § 1. ix. 425. 


Many other passages of a similar nature might be added, to 
some of which I give a reference below. 1 

Such is the testimony of one of the most illustrious of those 
Fathers to whom our opponents are continually referring as the 
supporters of their views. It is needless to add one word to 
direct the judgment of any impartial reader. I say impartial, 
because of those who accuse Scripture of obscurity, even in the 
fundamental points, I will not venture to say, that they may not 
do the same by these testimonies of Chrysostom, or anything 
else that may be offered them. 

Cyril of Alexandria, (fl. a. 412.) 

" The law given through the learned Moses," says Cyril of 
Alexandria, " was involved as it were in darkness and shadows, 
" such, I mean, as arose from the letter. But in the decla- 
" rations of the gospel, the beauty of the truth shines forth 
" unclouded and clear, and enlightens the mind, being poured 
" like light into the understandings of the pious." 2 

" Sufficient, sufficient for this [i. e. for obtaining a knowledge 
" of the faith] are the Scriptures of the holy Fathers, [i. e., as 
" the words following show, the inspired writers^] which if any 
" one would diligently study and vigilantly attend to, he would 
(( immediately have his mind filled with divine light. For, they did 

1 In Genes, hom. 35. § 1. iv. 349. E. 350. C, D. lb. § 2. iv. 352. B, C. In 
1 Thess. hom. 7. § ult. xi. 477. B, C. 

2 'Ax^v'i fx(v yap olovei ttcos Kal KaTaaKidrrfiacrt, reus air6 ye <pr)ix\ rov ypajx- 
/J.O.TOS, b did tov Trai/a6(pov Mwcreous KareiraxiveTO v6jxos. 'Ev 5e ye rots evayye- 
AtKois Kripvyixcun yvfjLvhv Kal 5ia<pai>es rb ttjs oA.7j0ei'os eK(palu€Tai KaKKos, Kcd 
KaracpcuSpvi'ei rbf vovv reus t&v evae^ovyrccv Siavoiais (pwrbs 5iK7)»' eicrx*oixevov. 
Cyrill. Axex. Comm. in Is. lib. 3. torn. i. Op. torn. ii. p. 361. The phrase 
tvayyeXiKbv Kripvy/xa is used in other places for Scripture, thus, — wapotadei/TWf 
els fieffov twv evayye\iK.u>v Kal airo(TTo\iKoi>v Krjpvyfj.aTciiv. Quod unus sit Chnstus, 
Dial. torn. v. P. 1. p. 758. See also De S. Trin. Dialog. 3. torn. v. P. 1. p. 476, 
and again p. 477. The context in all these passages clearly shows, that Scripture 
only is intended. And so the phrase "evangelica pranlicatio " is used by Cyprian : — 
" Scriptom est, nisi quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu, non potest intrare in 
regnum Dei. Quo in loco quidani, quasi evacuarc possint huniana argumentatione 
pradicationis Evangelica veritatem, catechumenos nobis opponuut," &c. Ep. ad 
Jubaian. Ep. 73. Op. ed. Fell. Pt. 2. p. 208. 


" not speak of themselves, but ' all Scripture is given by inspiration 
" of God, and is profitable/ " x 

Again, on the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, he says, that 
the error may easily be avoided, " for it is open to those who 
" desire it, easily to avoid the error, and to escape from the 
" pernicious and destructive doctrine of those of the opposite 
" party, by piously giving the due superiority to the declara- 
" tions of the sacred writers." 2 

Again, opposing certain unorthodox views respecting the incar- 
nation of our Lord, he says, — " What, therefore, supposing 
" this to have been the case, would have been the use of his 
" advent, or what the mode of his incarnation ? But if any one 
" perchance shall ask, on what account this was done, [namely, 
" that he became incarnate,] he shall receive from us the reply, 
" the divine Scripture will teach you. Go, then, illustrious Sir, 
1 ' inquire of the sacred Scriptures, and having well applied the eye 
" of your mind to the declarations of the holy Apostles, you shall 
" then clearly see what you seek." 3 

Again ; " Therefore the inspired Scripture is abundantly suffi- 
" cient, even so that those who have been nourished by it ought to 

' "AXis yap a\is ai toiv ayluv irarepoiv els tovto crvyypa(pal, ais elirep ris 
eKoiro vovvex&s o/xiXeiv Kal eypriyoporus irpocrcpepecrOai, (pcorbs av rod delov rbv 
oiKewv eudvs ava\x.ear(i>aeie vovv. "*H<rav yap ovk avrol XaAovvres ev avrois, -nuaa 
Se ypacpv 6e6irvev(rros Kal u<pe\t/u.os. Id. De S. Trin, Dial. 1. foin. v. P. 1. p. 
388. The phrase ruv ayiwv irarepwv, here used to denote the inspired writers, 
or probably more peculiarly the Apostles, is used also by Epipiiantus for the 
Apostles ; TlapeXafiov yap (says Epiphanius) ol ravrr)s [i. e. 'E/c/cArjo-ias] iraTSes 
irapa aytwv warepaiv, rovrecrri twc ayicov 'ATro(TT6\uv, irio~riv cpvXarreiv. Ancorat. 
Op. ed. Par. 1622. vol. ii. p. 122. — And Jerome says, — " Patriarchas quoque et 
Prophetas (si tainen nos ab eis peccata non separent) nostros patres diehnus." In 
Eph. Hb. ii. c. 3. torn. vii. col. G01. ed. Vallars. Yen. See also August. De Trin. 
lib. 2. c. 9. torn. viii. col. 781. 

2 B. 'Cis fieivdv ye, & rav, rb XPVP- -) Ka ^ SvaStdcpvKros aArjOSis t) ttjs 8v<T<ref}eias 
ypacprj. A. Ev8id(pvKros fxev oiiv i<pelrai yap St) rois edeXovaiv evK6\ws cbro- 
<poirav, Kal rbv oXerrjpa Kal <p9opov rwv Sievavrlas Sia>6e7a6at \6yov, rb xpV vai 
viKav aTrove/j.ovao' evaefiws rats rwv ayicov <pwva?s. Id. De S. Trin. Dial. 4. lb. 
p. 505. 

3 lis ovv av yevoiro Xoirrbv rrjs eiriZ-qixias 6 \6yos; i) ris 6 rp6iros ryjs ivavBponri)- 
crews; ireirpaKTai Se '6iov x c V"'> ^ TIS £p 0lTO rvxbv, avrauovrerai -nap' r\p.wv i) 
Beta Bi8d£ei ypacpr). "I6i 8tj, olv, Si yevva~ie, ttvBuv rwv iepwv ypa/j.p.drwv, Kal ra?s 
rwv ayiwv 'ATrocrrSXwv tpwvals evepeiaas ev fiaXa ttjs Siavoias rbv otpdaXfibv, &0pei 
5)j KaXws rb fri oi/xevov. Id. De recta fide ad Theodos. torn. v. P. 2. p. 17. The 
observation is to be found also in his " De incarn. Unigen. Dial." torn. v. P. 1. 
p. 691. 


" come forth wise and very prudent, and possessed of an under- 

" standing abundantly instructed in all things What that is 

" profitable to us is not spoken by it ? For, first, (what is also 
" more excellent than all other things,) any one may see in it 

u the glorious doctrine of the true knowledge of God 

" Moreover, in addition to this, it teaches us how to order aright 
" our life and conversation, and by its divine and sacred laws 
" directs us in the way of righteousness, and makes the path of 
" all equity clear to us." l 

Lastly, as it respects the interpretation of Scripture, he gives 
such rules as these, — " It behoves him who enters upon the 
" investigation of the divine Scriptures to observe the time at 
" which what is revealed is said, and the person by whom or 
" through whom, or of whom, it is spoken ; for thus they who 
" wish rightly to understand may be preserved from error, and 
" obtain a correct view of its meaning." 2 Such are the direc- 
tions which he gives Christians for ascertaining the meaning of 

It remains for our opponents to show, where he sends us to 
" Tradition" as the necessary and infallible interpreter of 

Isidore of Pelusium. (fl. a. 412.) 

" The sacred volumes of the divine Scriptures," says Isidore 
of Pelusium, " are steps whereby we ascend to God." 3 

1 'AnSxpy f*ev ovv 7) OeoTtvevarros ypacpr), Kal irpSs ye rb 8<?j/ airotydvai <ro<povs 
Kal SoKip-urdrovs, Kal SLapKecrrdrrjv ex 0VTas o~weo~iv rovs ivredpafi^ievovs avrfj. 

Ti yap rwv bvy]fficp6puv ovk eiprjTtu Trap' avrrjs ; irpcorov fxev yap, o Kal rSiv 

&AAcoj' airavrwv ecrrl r ifxaKtyeffrepov , Karidoi ris ev avrfj rovs rrjs aXrjOovs Oeorrrlas 

ivacrrpdrrroi/ras \6yovs elra rrpbs rovrois Kal rovs rrjs evfaias r)/j.?v 

elo-qyrjrai rp6rrovs, v6fJ.ois 8e Oeiois Kal lepols drrevOvvei Trpbs b~iKawffvv7)v, Kal 
jur/j/ Kal wndo-qs r)p.1v emeiKelas evapyrj KaOiarrjai rpifiov. Id. Contr. Julian, lib. 
vii. torn. vi. Part. 2. p. 230, 231. See .also the following context in pp. 231, 2. 

2 TlpSiTov juei/ ovv Trpoo~r)Kei rbv els epevvav rwv deioov elafiaivovra ypa<pa>v, rbv 
Kaipbv emrrjpeiv Kad' vv \eyerat rb SrjXov/u.epoi', Kal ■Kp6o~WKOv nap' ov, r) St' ov, r) 
irepl ov Atyerar ovrw yap av arrAavris r) Sidvoia <pv\ax6eir) ro7s bpdws eQe\ovo~i 
voelv. Id. Thesaurus, torn. v. Tart. 1. p. 199. 

3 At Se lepal wrvKral rwv fiaprvpovjj.evwv Oelttiv ypa<pa>i/, rrjs irpbs Qe6v elcriv 
ava&do-ews KKi/xaKts. IsiDOB. PELUS. Ep. lib. i. Bp. 3(J9. oil. Paris. 1638. 
p. 96. 


" If God had had respect only to his own dignity, and not 
" the profit of the reader, he would have used heavenly and 
" divine words and examples. But since he was legislating for 
" men that are weak and in need of human words (for thus they 
" were able easily to understand things above them), he ex- 
" pressed his divine doctrines in common words, to the intent 
w that even a woman and a child, and the most ignorant of all 
" men, might obtain some profit even from the very hearing. 
" For, the word having a considei'ation for the salvation of the 
" multitude, and even rustics, is expressed with so much clear- 
" ness through the philanthropy of the legislator, as to deprive 
'.' no one of the benefit proportioned to his powers ; nor hath it 
" neglected the wiser of mankind ; for in this so great clearness, 
" such unutterable words dwell like treasures, that even the 
" wisest and most learned of men are lost in the profundity of 
ft the thoughts, and often confess themselves overcome by the 
" incomprehensibility of the wisdom." l 

" If the truth be joined to eloquent language, it is able to 
" profit the educated, but to all others it will be of no use or 
" advantage. Wherefore the Scripture hath declared the truth 
" in simple language, that both the unlearned and the wise, and 
" even children and women, might learn it. For by this the 
" wise are in no respect injured; but by the other [i. e. Scrip- 
" ture being indited in superior language] the greater part of 
" the world would have been injured: and if it behoved it to 
" consider the few, it more especially behoved it to consider the 
" many ; and since it has considered all, it is clearly shown to 
" be divine and heavenly." 2 

1 Et yap irpbs Trjv aiirov a^iav fx6vov irpoatcrxtv 6 ®ebs, Kal jU?; irpbs t)]v w<p4- 
Aeicte tS>v ivT^v^ofiivoiv, ovpaviois av Kal Be'iois \6-yois rt Kal Trapaddy/xaffiv (XPV ' 
ffaro. 'AAA.' iireiSav avOpwirois tvofiodtrei ao~8ei>(o~i Tvyxavovai, Kal av6pcoir{i>wi> 
Seofxevois \6ywv, (oi/tco yap fiqStais to, inrep avrobs vor/cai riSiivavro) IStcoTiKaTs 
Xl^iffiv tKepaffe to. 6ua fiadrjfiaTa, 'Lva Kal yvv)) Kal 7rais Kal airavrwv avOpuiruv 
afiade&TaTos KfpSdvr) rl Kal e£ avrrjs ttjs aKpoao-fcos' ttjs yap t£>v iroWwv Kal 
ayeAaioreptci' (ppovriffas aair-qplas & Aoyos, o~a(priveia Toaairri dia (piXavdpunrlav 
tov vofxoOtTov KpaOfls, oi'SeVa ttjs Kara Swa/xtv axpcAtias airoffrtpit- ovrf 5e rwv 
ffoepwrepeev T}nt\T)(Tev iv ro<ravrr) yap aafprivdq ovrws anop'pr^TOt \oyoi KaOarrep 
6i)aavpoi nves ivoiKovaiv, &>s Kal robs ffoipunarovs Kal (Woyifj.wra.Tovs tSiv ai>6pw- 
nuv wpbs to fidOos tuv vorifidrcov iXiyyiqv, Kal Tropax^pfiv iroXXaKis rcji aKara- 
\rrmw ttjs o-o<ptas. Id. ib. lib. ii. Epist. 5. p. 129. 

2 Ef 5e rj a\r]6(ta ttj KaWitirtia o-vi>a<pQtiri, Siivarat robs irtTTatStvfj.(vovs 


" The sacred and heavenly oracles, since they were spoken 
u and written for the benefit of all mankind, were expressed in 
" plain language .... All those who are engaged in husbandry, 
" and the arts, and other occupations of life, derive profit from 
" its clearness ; learning both what is proper and what is just 
" and what is useful in a moment of time." l 

And, lastly, he says, — " If all things were plain, where should 
" we make use of our understanding, there not being any inves- 
" tigation to make ? But if all things were obscure, thus also 
" we should fall, there being no discovery of the truth. But 
" now, through those parts that are plain, those that are obscure 
" are in a manner understood." 2 

Theodoret. (fl. a. 4.23.) 

We pass on to one of the most learned of the Greek Fathers, 
Theodoret ; from whom we have the following testimonies as to 
the suitability and power of Scripture to teach the faith. 

" The divine Scripture," he says, " is accustomed to accom- 
" modate its lessons to those who are to be instructed ; and to 
" the perfect, to offer that which is perfect ; and to the ignorant, 
" elementary points and things suited to their ability." 3 

u The divine Scripture accommodates its language to men ; 
and orders its words so that they may be able to understand." * 

uxpeKrjcrai, tois 8" &\\ots airaatv &XP T I ~ T °S <=<ttcu Kal avoccpfAris. Ai' o Kal tj 
ypacpii tV aXriOeiav irefa \6ycc T)pfj.-t)Vfvcrfv, tva Kal Idiurai Kal aocpol Kal iratSfS 
Kal ywa?Kfs fidSoifv. 'Ek /ntv yap tovtov ol fiiv <ro<pol oi/Sev irapaPXairTovrar 4k 
8° (Keivov to tt\4ov tt)j oiKOVjuePTjs iifpos irpof0\d0Tj- &v rivoiv oHv ixPV" <ppovri- 
ffai, yuaAicTTO fieu t&v ir\ei6vcev. 'ETTfiSdv 8e Kal irdi/Toiv 4<pp6vriafv, SfiKwrat 
\aii.irpws deia ovcra Kal ovpdvios. Id. ib. lib. iv. Ep. 67. p. 449. 

1 Ol lepol Kal ovpdvioi xpVCf^ol, eVeiSav irpbs w(pi\etav Trdo-qs rrjs av6pa>ir6rTjTos 

4^4Bt)o-au Kal 4ypd(p7\o~av, rfj <ra(prjveia iKpadrjaav irdi/Tfs 8° ol yeaipylais 

Kal r4\vais Kal rais &\\ais ao-x<>\iais tov /3lov ffxo\d^oyrfs, w(pf\ovvrai 4k ttjs 
<ra<pT)t>elas- Kal rb irp4irov, Kal rb SiKaiov, Kal rb crv^cpfpov 4y aKapiala Kaipov fiotrij 
navQdvovTts. Id. ib. lib. iv. Ep. 91. p. 461. 

2 Ei /uec yap irdvra i\v SfjAa, irov ttj crvv4crei 4xpvcd/j.fda, /j.}) ovo-ris £r)Tr)<Ttws ; 
ti 8e iravTa &h~T)\a, Kal ovtws avaireirTtoKajjiev av, /j.rj oijcrris tupeo'eajs' vvv 8e 8i<x 
rwv SrjKwv Kal to. &Sr]\a Tp6irov rivb. Kara\afi$dyeTai. Id. ib. lib. iv. Ep. 82. 
p. 458. 

3 Merptli/ tlwOe tois TraiSevo^teVois f] 9eia ypa<p)f ra fiadrifiara- Kal rots /J.iv 
r(\elots irpocrtyepfiv to. reKeta, ro7s aTeAeVi Se to ffTOLXfiuo'v, Kal rij o-<pwv b~vvd~ 
pet o-vfj.$alvoyra. Tueodoeet. Qusest. in Gen. q. 1. Op. ed. Schulz. Halse 1774 
et aeq. torn. i. p. 3. 

* Tlpoo'<p6pois tois avOpunrois rj Otia ypa<p}] Sia\4yfTaf Kal a>s aKovfiv SvvavTat 
^eTatrx^MaT^tf robs \6yovs. Id. ib. q. 52. torn. i. p. 65. 


" Some persons having become affected with this disease of 
" mind, have undertaken to accuse the divine Scripture, and 
" especially the prophecies, as if they were obscure. To whom 
" the divine Paul would say, ' But if our gospel be hid, it is hid 
a to them that are lost ;' for ' we speak wisdom among them 
" that are perfect/ And agreeable to these are the words 
" spoken by our Master and Saviour to the holy Apostles, ' To 
" you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to 
' f them it is not given/ And teaching them the cause of this, 
" he directly adds, ' For, seeing they see not, and hearing they 
" do not understand ;' for they, saith he, willingly draw upon 
" themselves the cloud of ignorance ; for if they had turned to 
" the Lord, as the divine Apostle says, the veil would be 
" removed. Therefore the divine oracles are not obscure to all, 

" but only to those who are willingly blind Let no one 

" therefore, and especially among the pupils of Piety, 
" be so bold against the divine spirit as to charge his 
" words with obscurity ; but earnestly seeking to understand 
" the sacred words, let him exclaim with the divine David, 
" c Open thou mine eyes, and I shall behold wondrous things 
" out of thy law/ For he who seeks this knowledge for his 
" profit shall assuredly obtain his request." l 

And he gives the following reason for the occasional obscurity 
of Scripture. " There are occasions when the divine revelations 
" are spoken and written senigmatically, that those things which 

1 TavTTj irepnreaSvTiS rfj vScrcf) Ttvhs ttjs Oeias ypacprjs KaTt\yope1v iirex^P r l' Tal 'i 
Sia<pep6vTus 5e twv Trpo(prjTiKo>v QtcririfffxaToiv uis affcupela KeKa\vfi/j,4vwv. Tlpbs 
oils av cIkStws 6 dscTiTiffios efrroi HavAos' e« 5e Kal iari KeK.akvixiJ.ivov rb evayye- 
Kwv rjfiuv, iv ro7s airoWvLi.ivois earl KeKa\v/ o~o<p(av yap \a\ovfxev iv 
rots reKetois. 'Svfji.Qoovet 5e tovtois Kal to, vnb tov As(Tit6tov Kal ~2,WTrjpos f)/xwv 
irpbs tovs aylovs 'Airo(n6\ovs elpri/xeva. 'Y/mv SeSorat yvdvai t<J p.vo~TT)pia ttjs 
fiaffiAeias, fKelvois Se ov SeSorar Kal Ti)V alriav SiSdcTKoov ev8vs iirdyef "Oti /3A.e- 
irovres ov f$Aeirovo~t, Kal aKovovres ov ffvvwvcriv avTol yap cpr)0~iv (k6vt(s eiriO~irot>vTai 
ttjs ayvoias rb ve<pos' iav yap iiriarperpwat irpbs Kvpiov, tj (prjalv 6 6uos 'Air6aTo\os, 
■wepiaipeiTai rb KaKv^fxa. Ov roivvv iraatv icrrlv ao-a<pfj ra. Oela, aWa. rots 

iOeXovaiws rvtyXuiTTovaiv MrjSeJj roivvv, Kal fxaKiffra tujv ttjs fvaefieias 

rpocpi/xoov, Kara tov Btiov TIvevLtaros QpaavvicrBw, rots tovtov \6yois ao~d<p€iav 
£Trifj.e/j.(p6iJ.evos' aWa. vorjffai tovs lepovs icpiifxevos \6yovs fxeTa. tov Otn-irto-iov 
Boaroi AafSio' airoKa\v\pov tovs otpOaK/xovs ixov, Kal KaTavo-qaw to. Oavfidaia (K 
tov vifxov ffov T€u|eToi yap irdvTcms ttjs cuttj<T€&>s, eV £>(p(\(ia tijv yvwcrtv eiray- 
yti\as. Id. in Ezecli. Pru'f. torn. ii. pp. 670—2. 


" are revealed to the saints may not be manifest to all. For 
" thus, if they were equally discerned by all, they would become 
" objects of contempt." l 

Further, he says, — " For, the things of which we are ignorant 
we learn from the inspired Scripture." 2 

Again ; " For, as great as is the difference between God 
" and the devil, so great is the difference between the teaching 
" of God and that of the devil. And the beauty of the divine 
" oracles sending forth the beams of a light suited to the faculties 
" of man, when compared with those fables, will more clearly 
u show this." 3 

And throughout the work from which this extract is taken, 
viz. that on heretical fables, as well as in other places, he con- 
tinually refers to the divine Scripture, and to that only, as his 
teacher in the doctrines he inculcates. 

Again; he says, — " For, all the preachers of the truth, the 
" Prophets and Apostles I mean, were not possessed of the 
" Grecian eloquence, but, being full of the true wisdom, brought 
" to all the heathen, both Greeks and barbarians, the divine 
" doctrine, and filled the whole earth and sea with their writings 
" concerning virtue and piety. And now all men have left the 
" follies of the philosophers and take delight in the lessons of 
" fishermen and publicans, and reverence the writings of a 
" shoemaker. They are acquainted with Matthew and Bartho- 
" lomew and James, nay, moreover, with Moses and David and 
" Isaiah, and the rest of the Apostles and Prophets, as familiarly 
" as with the names of their children. And straightway they 
" laugh at their names as barbarous. But we lament over their 
" madness ; in that, seeing the Grecian eloquence overcome by 
" men of a barbarous tongue, and their beautifully composed 
" fables altogether put to flight, and the Attic syllogisms de- 

1 AlvtyixaraiSais 8e 4ffriv '4re ra OeTa \4yerat Kal ypdcperai, 'Iva /J) iraffiv j; 
SrjKa to. tois aylois airoKaKvTrTOfieya- oi/Vco yap av €VKara(ppou7ira iyeyovet 6/xotais 
virb iravraiv yvwpi^6^eva. Id. in Dan. c. 9. torn. ii. p. 1238. 

2 "A yap ayvoovjxfv, iKtlOev [i. e. 4k OeonvtvcrTov ypacprjs^ fMavOavofMeu. ID. in 
2 Tim. iii. 16. torn. iii. p. 691. 

3 "Chtov yap 0eoD Kal Sia&oAov rb y.4ciov, roaavri) rfjs rov 0eoC Kal $ia&6\ov 
SiSaiTKaAias 8ia<popd. Kal tovto 5ei£ei aa<p(ffrfpov to?s /xvOois 4kcIvois TrapariOf- 
fj.evov twv Oeiwv Koy'tuiv t5 KaWus, Tas rov voepoii (ponbs 4Kirefj.iT0i/ (xappapvyas . 
Id. Hter. Fub. lib. v. Prtcf. loin. iv. p. 376, 377. 


" stroyed by the solecisms of fishermen, they do not blush nor 

" hide themselves, but impudently fight for their error 

11 But we clearly demonstrate the power of the Apostolical and 
" Prophetical doctrines, for all places under the sun are full of 

" these discourses And we may see not only the teachers 

" of the Church acquainted with these doctrines, but even shoe- 
" makers and smiths and workers in wool, and other handy- 
" craftsmen, and in like manner women, not only the educated, 
" but also those who work for their living, both needle-women 
" and moreover servant-girls. And not only those who live in 
" cities, but also those who live in the country, have obtained 
" this knowledge. And you may find even ditchers and herds- 
" men and gardeners conversing respecting the divine Trinity, 
ft and concerning the creation of the universe, and knowing 
" much more of human nature than Aristotle and Plato ; and 
" moreover, having a regard for virtue and avoiding vice, and 
" fearing the looked-for punishments, and awaiting without 
" doubts the divine tribunal, and philosophizing respecting 
" the life that is eternal and indestructible, and for the sake 
" of the kingdom of heaven gladly undertaking every kind 
" of labor, and who have learnt these things from 
" NO one else but from those whom you call bar- 


» 1 

1 Kal yap diravres rrjs d\ri6elas ol KypvKes, TrpocprJTCu (pri/xl Kal airocTToKoi, ttjs 
fxkv 'EWrjviKris ov /xereKaxov evyKwTTias' ep-irKeoi 5e rr/s a\l)0iv%s ovres <ro(pias, 
iraffi to7s eQveai, Kal eAATjpi/coTs Kal fiapfSapiKois, ttjv Beiav di$a<TKaAiav irpoffi]- 
veyKav Kal Ttuaav yriv Kal Qahaaaav twv aperrjs nepi Kal evcrefieias fuyy pafifiaTuiu 
eveirKrjO'ai'. Kal vvv dnavres, tuv (piKo<r6<p<t>v robs hijpovs Kara\nr6vTes, to?s 
rSiv aKiewv Kal reKtuvoiv evTpv<pa>o~t fxaQrifxaffi, Kal ra rod o~kvtot6/j.ov ^vyypd/j.- 

fiara irepieirovai T^ 8e Mar8a7ov, Kal rbv 'RapQoXofx.a'iou, Kal rbv 'idKiofiov, 

Kal fiievroi Kal rbv Mcovaea, Kal rbv Aa/318, Kal rbv 'Uaa'iav, Kal robs &\\ovs airo<rr6- 
\ovs re Kal TTpo<prjTas, ovrcos laaaiv £>s ras ruiv waiSuiv it polyopias. AvriKa 
roivvv Kal KU3jxu>hovffiv, cos fidpffapa, ra ovdpara' T)/J.eis 5e avrwv rr)v efnrKrj^iav oAo- 
<pvp6fj.eda' '6ri 8rj opoovres fiap&aporpuivovs dvdpwirovs ri)v eK\7]viK7)v evyhwrriav 
veviKy}K6ras, Kal robs KeKOfj.\i/ev/j.evovs fl6$ovs iravreKws e^e\r)\ap.evovs, Kal robs 
aAtevriKobs ffo\otKifffj.ovs robs arriKobs KaraKe\vK6ro.s ^v\\oyto~fj.obs, ovk epvBpt- 

tofftv, ovb" eyKaXinrrovrai, aAA' avaiSriv imep/j.axouai rrjs ir\dvr]s 'H/AeTs 

8e, rwv dirnaroKiKcov Kal irpo<pT)riKuv Soyfxarcov rb Kparos evapyebs'' 

iruffa yap rj vfp^Kws rwvSe rcov \6yoov dvd-rrXews Kal eartv lde7v ravra 

(ISoTas to b~6yp.ara, ov fj.6vovs ye rrjs eKK\7}crias robs SiSao~Kd\ovs, aAAa Kal 
(Tkvtot6/j.ovs, Kal x a A/coTi/7rous, Kal ra\ao~iovpyobs, Kal robs &\Kovs a7ro\€i/Jo;3ia!- 
rovs' Kal yvvatKas wffavrons, oil fj.6vov ras \6yaiv /j.ereo-\riKvias, aAAa Kal x f P v ^l' 
riSas, Kal aKeo-TplSas, Kal /ueVroi Kal dtpairaivas- Kal ov fnovov aoTol, aAAa Kal 


Again, in one of his Letters, he says, — " For the sake of this 
" we are accustomed from our cradles to meditate upon the 
" sacred Scripture, and draw from it as from a breast, that when 
" affliction comes upon us, we may apply the Spirit's teaching 
" as a healing medicine." l 

And as to the means by which we may be enabled to " pene- 
trate into the depths" of the Divine word, we have already seen 
from the extracts given in a previous page a what is Theodoret's 
view on that point; namely, that it is by the inward teaching of 
the Holy Spirit. 

Lastly, in the sermons attributed by some to Tlieodoret, but 
by others to Eutherius, we meet with the following passage. 
Speaking of those who neglected the study of the Scriptures, 
the writer adds, — "But we, contiding in the truth of the 
" mystery, and in the aid of him who cannot lie, who says, 
" ' Every one that seeketh findeth/ both seek as we ought, and 
" find what we ought, and speak with demonstration, and hear 
" with a sincere purpose of mind, so that we may persuade those 
" that belong to us, and convince our adversaries, and enrich 
" ourselves by the search, and not propose inconsistent doctrine. 
" Shall I neylect the Scriptures ? Whence then shall I obtain 
" knowledge ? Shall I relinquish knowledge ? Whence, then, 
" shall I obtain faith ? . . . . The Scripture is the food of the soul. 
" . . . . By the holy Scriptures is the manifestation of things 
" hidden, the establishment of our hopes, the fulfilment of the 

" promises, the discovery of the Saviour But they who 

" desire to he themselves the judges of their own doctrines, drive us 

X(jop7}Tino\ TrjvSe t?;j/ yvSxriv iffx'h liaffi ' Ka ^ zW-v Gupeiv Kal aKairaueas, Kal fior]- 
Karas, Kal (pvrovpyovs, irepl rrjs Oelas 8iaAeyo/.i.(vovs TpidSos, ko.I nepl rr)s rwu 
'iXwv 8r)/iiovpyias, Kal Trjf avOpunreiav <pv<riv elSoras 'ApiffToreAovs TroWf fiaAAov 
Kal n\d.Tcoi>os- Kal jxivroi Kal aperrjs iTrifxe\ovfi.tvous, Kal KaKlav iicKAivovTas, Kal 
to. KoAcKTT-fipia dtSt6ras ra TrpoffSoKdofxa/a, Kal rb Qilov SiKacrrripiov avevSoidffToos 
irpofffjLivovras, Kal tt)s aluiviov nept Kal av&Aedpov <piAo(To<povvTas ^cu-f}r, Kal tuv 
ovpav&v eVf/ca /3a(TiA.€i'os -rravTa tt6vov affiraaius alpovjxfvovs' Kal ravra, ou nap' 
&\\ov rov fj.€/xadr)K6Tas, aKAa Trap' ZkcIi/wv o'bs v/Atls fiapliapxpuifovs 07roKa\e?T€. 
Id. Grsec. affect. Curatio. Disp. 5. torn. iv. pp. 837 — 41. 

1 Tovtov yap 8rj x^P lv *vOvs e'/c cnxapydvwv oX6v Tiva flrjArjf eX/co/iei/ rrjs Upas 
ypa<pi)s rr)i> fj.e AfTT)i/, "v '6rav rjfJ.1v Trpocnrearj vaf)os, Trpo<r(vtyKU!,uev aAi^LKaKoy 
(pdp/xaKov ty)v StSaffKaAlav rod T\vt\>ixaTos. Id. Epiat. 14. tom LV. p. 1(172. 

- Sep above, pp 189, 190. 



"from the Scriptures, under the pretext of not being presumptuous, 
" as if they were incomprehensible, but in reality in order to avoid 
" being convicted bij them of their own fake doctrine." 1 

Fulgentius OF Ruspa. (fl. a. 507.) 

11 The word of the Lord/' says Fulgentius, " which we all 
" ought to hear, not only attentively but wisely, and which we 
" ought to obey with humility and delight, everywhere preserv- 
" ing the balance of its moderation, so that neither the sheep 
" might be without pasture, nor the shepherds without food, 
" gives some commands specially to us alone, and some generally 
" both to us aud you. For to us, that is the servants whom that 
" Father of the family, the Lord of all things, has appointed for 
" this purpose in his great house, that we should minister the 
" word of grace to his people, is specially enjoined the duty of 
" holy preaching ; but generally both to us and you there is 
" enjoined a salutary obedience to his commands. In which 
" commands, as in most plentiful dishes, a spiritual supply of 
" heavenly delights so abounds, that in the word of God there 
" is ample provision for the perfect to eat, and ample provision 
"for the little one to suck. For there is both the milky drink, 
" by which the tender infancy of the faithful may be nourished, 
" and the solid food from which the robust youth of the perfect 
" may receive a spiritual increase of holy virtue. There provi- 
" sion is fully made for the salvation of those ivhom the Lord 
" vouchsafes to save ; there is to be found what is suitable to 
" every age, there what is agreeable to every profession ; there 
" we hear the precepts we ought to obey, there we learn the 
" rewards we may expect ; there is the command which teaches 

1 'HjUeTs Oappovvres rrj a\t]9ela tov [xvffTi]piov, Kal rij f$or]9elu rod aipevSovs 
ilTr6vTos, Has 6 Qtjtixiv evpiffKei, Kal (flrovfjav d>s Se?, Kal eupio~KO/j.ev & 5e?, Kal 
juera a7ro8ei|ea>s \fyop.ev, Kal /asto. irpoOtoeois yvrjcrlas aKOi/o/xev, us Kal tovs 
oiKeiovs Treideiv, Kal rovs ivavriovs £\iyxtiv, Kal 7]/ aiiTovs Sia ttjs ipevfrjs Kep- 
Saiveiv, Kal /*7J aavararov irpayfxa SctKvveiv. 'AfitAricrw ypacp&v irSdev ovv f] 

yvwffis; KaTaAetyai yvuaiv ir6dei> 7) iriaTis; Tpo<pr) ipvxys t) ypa(pi) 

'Ek tuv ayioiv ypatywv r) t&v oSt)\oiv (pavtpuiffis, r) t&v i\iri5a>v /3ej3ai'axns, t) rwv 

vwocrxecretvv tKfiaffis, r) tov 2coT7)pos eiipeffis 'AAA' ol /3ov\6/j.evoi ra eavTwv 

Kplveiv aTrelpyovcri rwv ypa<pG>v, irpo<pdo~et /xev tov fj.ii KaTaro\/>, ws airpofflTtav' 
rfj Se a\7]6eia vnep tov (pevyeiv top e'£ avT&v e\eyxov tTjs otKfias KaKoSof^ias. 
Titeodok. sou Euthekii Serin. 2. toni. v. pp. 1124—6. This homily has been 
attributed to Athanasius. See Athaxas. Op. ed. Ben. torn. ii. pp. 562, 3. (ed. 
Col. torn. ii. pp. 295, 6.) 


" us in the letter, and leads us to knowledge ; there the promise 
" which draws us through grace and leads us to glory." l 

Gregory, (fl. a. 590.) 

We conclude, as before, with the testimony of the celebrated 
Gregory, commonly called the Great. 

" The divine word," he says, " as by its mysteries it exercises 
" the wise, so for the most part it cherishes the simple by that 
" which it contains on the surface. It openly sets forth that 
" by which it may nourish the little ones, it keeps secret that 
" by which it may hold the minds of the lofty in admiration. 
" It is, so to speak, like a river that is smooth and deep, in 
" which both a lamb mat/ wade, and an elephant may swim/' 2 

And for its occasional obscurity he thus assigns the cause ; — 
" The veiy obscurity of the oracles of God is of great use, be- 
" cause it exercises the understanding, that it may be expanded 
" by the labor, and may understand when in exercise that 
M which it could not understand when idle. It has also another 

1 " Dominicus sermo, quem debeinus omnes non solum studiose venim etiam 
sapienter audire, cui nos oportet humiliter ac delectabiliter obedire, niodera- 
tionis sua? tenens ubique temperieui, ut nee ovibus desint pabula, nee pasto- 
ribus alimenta : qua?dani speciaUter solis praecipit nobis, qusedam vero gene- 
raliter et nobis et vobis. Xobis namque, id est servis, quos pater ille familias 
reruni omnium dominus, ad hoc in sua magna domo constituit, ut populo ejus 
verbum gratia? niinistremus, specialiter injungitur sancta? pra?dicationis officiuni . 
generaliter vero nobis et vobis salutaris indieitur obedientia mandatorum. In 
quibus denuo maudatis, tanquam ditissimis ferculis, sic coelestium deliciarum copia 
spiritalis exuberat, ut in verbo Dei abundet quod perfectus comedat, abundet 
etiam quod parvulus sugat. Ibi est enhn simul et lacteus potus, quo tenera fidelium 
nutriatur infantia, et solidus cibus, quo robusta perfectorum juventus spiritalia 
sanctse virtutis accipiat incrementa. Ibi prorsus ad salutem consubtur universis 
quos Dominus salvare dignatur ; ibi est quod omni a2tati congruat, ibi quod omni 
professioni conveniat ; ibi audimus prsecepta qua? fociamus, ibi cognoscimus prsemia 
quae speremus ; ibi est jussio qua? nos per litteram doceat, et instruat ad scientiam ; 
ibi promissio qua? per gratiam trahat et perducat ad gloriam." Fr/LGEXTiiSerm. 
De Dispensat. Dom. Serm. 1. Op. ed. Mang. Paris. 16S4. col. 546; or, ed. Ten. 
1742. p. 248. 

2 " Divinus etenim sermo sicut mysteriis prudentes exercet, sic plerumque 
superfine simplices refovet. Habet in pubbco unde pairulos nutriat ; servat in 
secreto unde mentes sublimium in admiratione suspendat. Quasi quidam quippe 
est nu%-ius, ut ita dixerim, planus et altus, in quo et agnus ambulet et elepbas 
natet." Geeg. Magn. Epist. ad Leand. priefix. ad Moral, sive Expos, in Job. 
Op. ed. Ben. torn. i. col. 5, 6. 


" greater advantage, inasmuch as the understanding of the 
" sacred Scripture, which, if in all points it were free from diffi- 
" culty, would be held cheap, gives the mind, when found in 
" certain more obscure passages, so much greater pleasure as in 
" the search it fatigues the mind with greater labor." l It is 
not "Tradition," then, to which we are directed, to teach us 
the meaning of the obscure passages, but a more careful and 
attentive examination of them. 

Upon the strength of these testimonies, then, we maintain, 
that the weight of Patristical testimony is, beyond all reasonable 
contradiction, entirely in our favor. The clearness, indeed, with 
which most of the Fathers have asserted the view for which we 
contend, makes it a matter of surprise, that any one at all ac- 
quainted with their writings should venture to claim them as 
opposed to it. 

There remains, howevei*, one more point in the system of our 
opponents, respecting which we have to inquire the sentiments 
of the Fathers; to which I now proceed. 



There remains for consideration the question, Upon what 
grounds the Fathers considered that belief in the inspiration of 
Scripture should rest. I have said, in a former page, 2 that 
they did not make Church-Tradition the ground for belief in this 
doctrine ; and I shall now endeavour to show the truth of this, 
by citing various passages from the works of some of the most 
eminent among them, in which the grounds for belief in this 
doctrine are pointed out ; and a very different view taken of the 
subject from that maintained by our opponents. 

1 " Magnse utilitatis est ipsa obscuritas eloquiorum Dei, quia exercet sensuni, 
ut fatigatione dilatetur, et exercitatus capiat quod capere non posset otiosus. 
Habct quoque adhuc aliud majus, quia Scriptural sacra. 1 intelligentia, qua-, si in 
cunctis esset apcrta, vilesceret, in quibusdam locis obscurioribus tanto majore 
duleedine inventa refieit, quanto majore labors fatigat aniinuni qusesita." In. In 
Ezecb. lib. i. bom. 6. torn. i. col. 1213. 

2 Vol. ii. p. 7. 


Justin Martyr, (fl. a. 140.) 

Let us observe, first, the ground upon which Justin Martyr 
makes his faith in Scripture as the word of God, to rest ; and 
which he proposes to others, as a proper foundation for their 
faith in it as such. 

In his Dialogue with Trypho and his companions, he gives 
an account of the mode of his conversion ; and attributes it to 
a conversation with an aged and venerable person, whom he 
had fallen in with in a solitary place, to which he had retired 
for the purpose of meditation. Giving the details of this con- 
versation, he says, that, when he put the question, how he 
might attain the knowledge of the truth, if not in philosophy, 
his venerable Christian instructor gave him this answer : — 
There were certain men, a long time since, more antient than 
all those called philosophers, blessed and just men, and lovers 
of God, who spoke under the influence of the Divine Spirit, 
and prophesied of things that were to come, which things are 
now in the course of fulfilment ; and men call them Prophets. 
These alone saw and declared to men the truth, neither re- 
garding with undue respect, nor dreading, any one, not ovei'- 
come by the desire of glory, but speaking those things only 
which they heard and saw, being filled with the Holy Spirit. 
And their books still remain to the present time ; and he who 
reads and believes them, is very greatly improved in know- 
ledge, respecting both the beginning and end of things, and 
whatever it behoves a philosopher to know. For they did 
not write in the way of demonstration, as being placed above 
the necessity of any demonstration as faithful witnesses of 
the truth. And the things which have come to pass, and are 
now happening, compel men to believe the things spoken by 
them. And moreover they were worthy to be believed, on 
account of the miracles which they wrought ; since they also 
glorified God, the Maker of the Universe, and Father of all, 
and preached Christ his Son, who was sent by him ; which 
the false prophets, influenced by a spirit of error and impurity, 
neither did nor do ; but presume to work certain miracles 
to frighten men, and glorify spirits of error and devils. 


" But pray that, above all things., the gates of light may be 
" opened to thee. For, these things are not seen nor under- 
" stood by all, but only by him, to whom God and his Christ 
" grant the knowledge of them." l " And [adds Justin] having 
" considered with myself his words, I found that this is the 
" only safe and profitable philosophy j and thus, in truth, 
" through these things, I became a philosopher. And I could 
" wish that all, having brought themselves to the same state of 
" mind, would not stand aloof from the words of the Saviour, for 
" they have a certain majesty in themselves, and are sufficient to 
" alarm those ivho turn from the right way ; and give most sweet 
"peace to those who are conversant with them." ~ 

It appears that Justin was more particularly directed by his 
instructor to the writings of the prophets, in order, no doubt, 
to afford him the evidence which the fulfilment of those pro- 
phecies gives to the truth of Christianity ; and that in them he 
clearly' perceived the doctrine of Christ ; and this doctrine he 
afterwards exhibits to Trypho and his companions, by extracts 
from their writings. The excellence of the doctrine of the 
sacred writers, and the evidence afforded to it by the fulfilment 

'^.yevovr6 rives Trpb ttoWov xpovov irdvraiv rovroiv ruiv vofju^o^evwv <pt\oo~6<pa>v 
Tra\aiorepoi, na.Ka.ptoi, Kal Slkolioi, Kal 8eo<pi\e7s, Setep irvevfiari \aXriffavres, Kal to 
^ueAAoj/Ta deavto'ayres, a St; vxiv ylveraf irpocprjras 5e avrobs Kakovariv ovroi /xovoi 
rb aKrjdes Kal eiSov Kal e^elirov avdptlnrois, pA\r ev\afSr\8evres fi-rire 8 ucr wiry 8 evres 
Tiro, fXTj r\rrr\fxevoi $6£r)s, aAAo /j.6va ravra eliz6vres a fJKOvaav Kal a elfiov, aylco 
ir\i}pw8 evres irvevfiarr a 8e avruv en Kal vvv Sta/xevei, Kal eariv evrv- 
X&vra tovtois Tr\e7o~rov oi<pe\7]dr)vai Kal Trepl apx&v, Kal irepl re\ovs, Kal S>v xph 
elSevai rbv <pt\6o~o<pov, irtffrevaavra eKeivois. Ov yap fierd aTroSei^ecus Treno(rjvrai 
r6re robs Xoyovs, are avoorepw ndcrris anoSet^eus ovres a£t6irio~rot fxdprvpes rris 
a\7]deias' to Se awo$dvra Kal anofiaivovra e£avayKd£ei avvri8eo-8ai rols \e\a\rifie- 
vois 5(' avTwv Kal roi ye Kal 8ia ras Swdpeis os eirereXovv, Triareveo~8ai BiKatoi 
■tiaav eiretSrj Kal rbv Troirjrriv rwv b\wv Qebv Kal varepa eb~6£a£ov, Kal rbv nap' avrov 
Xpio~rbv vlbv avrov KarrjyyeWov orcep ol anb rov irKavov Kal a.Ka8dprov irvev- 
fxaros efx.Tr iir\dfj.evoi \f/evo~oTrpo<pr;rai ovre iirotrjaav, ovre irotovo-tv, oAAa Svvd/xeis 
rivas evepyetv els KardnArj^iv rSiv avBpdnrbiv roKfiuiffi, Kal to ttjs -nKavris itvev- 
/xara Kal Sai/j.6via 8o£o\oyovaiv. E.vx ov Se crot Trpb irdvrwv (pairbs dvoix8rjvai 
irv\as' ov yap cvvonra ovfie ffvvvorjrd Traaiv eo~riv, el ixtj rev Oebs Sep avv'ievai Kal 
6 Xpio-rbs avrov. Just. Mabt. Dial, cum Tryph. § 7. Op. ed. Ben. p. 109. 
(ed. Col. pp. 224, 5.) 

2 AiaAoyi£6/j.ev6s re irpbs efxavrbv robs \6yovs avrov, Ta\ni\v fj.6vr]v evpiaKOV 
<pi\oao(piav acrtpaXri re Kal ffv/xepopov, ovrws 5?; Kal Sio toDto (pt\6ffO(pos eyiii. 
Bov\oifiT]v 5' av Kal irdvras laov efxol Bvfxbv iron)o~aixevovs, fj.r) a.(pio-raff8ai twi> rod 
2o)TTjpos \6ywv, Seos yap rt exovcriv ev eavro'ts, Kal 'iKavol 8vo-uirTJo~at robs eKrpe- 
wofxevovs rys bpdr\s SSov, avdiravff'is re TiSlffrrj yiverai rots eKfj.e\eru>ffiv aiirovs. 
Id. ib. § 8. p. 109. (ed. Col. p. 225.) 


of their predictions and their miracles, convinced him, when a 
heathen, of the divine origin of the revelations, both of the Old 
and New Testaments ; and by showing Trypho and his com- 
panions the true meaning of the prophetical writings, and the 
doctrine of Christ, as contained in them, he hoped to bring them 
to the belief of the New. 

And further on, in reply to an objection of Trypho, that he 
had suffered himself to be misled, he says, :e I will show, if you 
" will stay with me, that we have not believed empty fables, nor 
" words incapable of demonstration, but such as are full of a 
" divine spirit, and overflowing with power, and flourishing with 
" grace." 1 Here, then, he distinctly makes the internal excel- 
lence of the doctrine of the New Testament, the ground for our 
belief that it is a divine doctrine, and that, consequently, they 
who first delivered it, were divinely inspired. 

Again, in his " Exhortation to the Greeks," he adopts the 
same line of argument. For, having shown them, on various 
grounds, how little their philosophers were to be trusted, and 
particularly from their all differing one from another, he points 
out to them the harmony which there is in the writings of our 
teachers, who, he says, " having received the truth from God, 
" taught it us without disputing with one another, and sepa- 
" rating into parties. For it was not possible for men to know 
" such great and divine things by nature, or human meditation, but 
" by a gift, which came down at that time from above upon holy 
" men" 2 

And further on, tracing the doctrines of the Christian faith, 
as in his Dialogue with Trypho, in the writings of the Old Tes- 
tament, he says, — " But if any one of those accustomed hastily 
" to oppose us, should affirm, that these books belong not to us, 
" but to the Jews, because they are still preserved in their sj r na- 
" gogues, and should say, that we assert in vain that we have 

1 Tlap€(TTa>Ti yap Sei'^a;, '6ri ov Ktvois iirMTTtvaaiAtv (jlvBois, ovSe avanoSfiKTOis 
\6yots, aWa /j.earo?s nvev/xaios 6tiov ica.l tiwdfiei fipvovat, kcu Tt6rj\6<n x c V' Tt - 
Id. ib. § 9. p. 110. (ed. Col. p. 226.) 

2 'AcpiAoi/i'iKus iced aaiaaidaTus ttjv irapa Qtov Se^a/j.(vvvs yvwaiv, na\ Tavrrji/ 
SiSaffKOfTas Tjfxas' outs yap (pvfffi, afire avBpwTrii'T) ivvotq. ovrw fieyaKa Kal Qua 
yivuTKiiv avBpwirois Zvvarbv, aWa rfj avwdtv iirl tovs aytovs dvSpas rrjutKavra 
KaTtA6ov<rT) Swpea. Ii>. Ad Grac. Cohort. § 8. pp. 12, 13. (od. Col. p. 9.) 


" learnt our religion from them, let him know from the things 
" written in those books, that the doctrine derived from them 
" concerns not them, but us. And that the books which relate 
" to our religion are yet preserved among the Jews, is the work 
" of a divine providence in our behalf. For, that we may not, 
" by producing them from the Church, afford a pretext to those 
" who are desirous of bearing witness against us, for accusing 
" us of fraud, we think it best to produce them from the syna- 
" gogue of the Jews, that it may appear, from the very books 
" yet preserved among them, that the pi-ecepts relating to doc- 
" trine, written by those holy men, clearly and manifestly belong 
" to us." l So that, as it respects the Old Testament, he pre- 
fers the testimony of the Jews to that of the Christian Church, 
a testimony which we have to this day ; and from the Old Testa- 
ment wc may, as it appeared to him, derive sufficient testimony 
for the divine origin of the doctrines of the New. 

In both his Apologies, moreover, he follows the same course ; 
placing his proof of the divine origin of the doctrines he was 
defending, either upon the internal testimony derived from their 
intrinsic excellence, 2 or upon such pi*oofs as the fulfilment of 
the prophecies, both of the Old and New Testament. 3 

And lastly, in his Oration to the Greeks, having apostrophised 
"the divine word" as "the putter to flight of evil passions, the 
doctrine that extinguishes the fire of the soul, &c." 4 he adds, 
" Come and be instructed ; be as I am, for I was as ye are. 

1 E» 8e tis (pafficm twv irpoxeipws avri\4yeiv el8io-fx4vwv, fj.7] rjfiiv tols fiif}/\ovs 
ravras, ak\a lovSaiois Trpoo-fiKeiv, Sia rb eti Kal vvv 4v reus ffvvaywyais avrwv 
<rcb£eff6ai, Kal fx6.Tt}v 4k tovtwv (pdcrKeiv r})v 6eoa4f3eiav fj.efj.a6r}Kevai \4yoi, 
yvwrw air' avrwv twv 4v tolls fiifiAois>, on ovk ai/rols, a.k\a 7ifj.1v r\ 
4k tovtwv Siatpepet 8i5a<ncaA.ia' rb 8e napa lovfialots en Kal vvv ras ttj rjfj,er4pa 
8eoo~e/3eia 8io.<pepovo~as trdi^ecrQai fil[}\ovs, 6elas wpovoias epyov inrep i)fj.wv yeyovev 
'iva yap fii] 4k rrjs 4icK\r]aias irpoKOfil&vres, TrpScpacriv paSiovpyias to7s fiovKofjevois 
$\aff(p7\fLe'iv rjfias irapaaxwfxev, enrb ttjs twv lovfiaiwv avvaywyrjs ravras a^iovfjev 
TrpoKOfii^eadai, 'Iva air' avrwv rwv en Trap' avioTs o~w£ofi4vwv /3i/3/\iwv, ws rifiiv ra 
irpbs Si5aiTKa\lav virb twv aylwv av8pwv ypacpevra Stuaia aaipws Ka\ (pavepws irpo<T- 
v.ei, tpavrj. Id. ib. § 13. p. 17. (ed. Col. p. 14.) 

2 See Apol. 1. §§ 14—17. pp. 51—54. (ed. Col. Apol. 2. pp. 61— G4.) 

3 See Apol. 1. § 12. p. 50. and §§ 30—33. pp. 61—64. (ed. col. Apol. 2. p. 60 
and pp. 72—74.) 

4 'O 0e7os \6yos w iraOwv Setvwv cpvyaSevrriptov, w irvpbs 4fj,\j>vxou <rj8e<r- 

tikov SiSao-KaAiov, k. r. A. Id. Orat, ad Grace. § ult. pp. 4, 5. 


" These things persuaded me, namely, the divinity of the doctrine, 
" and the power of the word." 1 

From these statements, therefore, it is evident, that the ground 
upon which Justin Martyr's faith rested, that the Bible was the 
word of God, was the internal testimony it contains to its 
having emanated from a Divine source. 

Nor let it be supposed, that his mode of reasoning was suitable 
only to the Jews or heathen, whom he was addressing. For, as 
it respects this point, viz., the question whether the Bible is the 
word of God, all men are similarly circumstanced. If there are 
any serious doubts on this point, such doubts cannot be removed 
by any human authority. He who has such doubts, is for the 
moment, as far as that point is concerned, precisely in the same 
situation with any other unbeliever. Human testimony may be 
available, as giving evidence more or less credible to facts con- 
nected with the authorship and preservation of the books of 
Scripture ; but even here, so far from depending upon the tes- 
timony of the Church alone, we have several other sources of 
information, and those less open to suspicion. 

We have no reason to suppose, then, that Justin Martyr would 
have adopted any other mode of reasoning, had he been address- 
ing the professing Christian Church on this subject ; for, the 
ground or evidence upon which the faith of men in Scripture, 
as the word of God, rests, must be the same with all. 

At any rate that which is a sufficient proof of the Scripture 
being the word of God to the Jews and heathen, must be a 
sufficient proof to all others ; so that we have no need to receive 
the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture upon the testimony 
of Tradition. 

Theophilus of Antioch. (fl. a. 168.) 

I proceed to Theophilus of Antioch, who says to Autolycus, 
" Be not, therefore, incredulous, but believe. For I also did not 
" believe that this should be ; but now having considered these 
" things, I believe ; having fallen in with the sacred writings of 

1 ''EA.0eT€, Troi8eu07jTf yivtade ws tydo' '6ti ndyco fy»iv £>s v/xtTs. TavTa ue eIXe, 
t6 re rr/s iraiStlas tvdeov, k<x\ rb rov \6yov Swarov. Id. ib. p. 5. 


" the holy Prophets, who also foretold, by the divine Spirit, the 
" things which have happened, according to the manner in which 
" they happened ; and the things that are now taking place, as 
" they are taking place ; and the things that are to come, in what 
" way they will be fulfilled. Therefore, having received a proof 
"from those things happening which were foretold, I am not in- 
" credulous, but, in obedience to God, believe." 1 

Tatiax. (fl. a. 172.) 

Proceeding to Tatian, let us observe in the following pas- 
sage the grounds upon which his faith in the Scriptures rested. 
Having become dissatisfied, he tells us, with the heathen mytho- 
logy, "I sought to know in what way I could find the truth. 
" And while I was considering the things worthy of attention, 
" it happened that I read certain foreign writings, more antient 
" than the writings of the Greeks as it regards the doctrine of 
" the Greeks, and more divine as it regards their errors. And 
" it turned out, that I was brought to believe them,, both on 
" account of the simplicity of the style, and the freedom from 
" artifice in the authors, and the plain account given of the crea- 
" Hon of the universe, and their foreknowledge of things to come, 
" and the magnitude of their promises, and the majesty of all 
" which they have written. And my soul having thus become 
" taught by God, I understood," &c.° 

Mtj ovv air'tarei, aWa ir(o~T€V€. Kal yap iyw Tiiriarovv toCto eataBai, aWa 
vvv naravoricras avra iricrrevu, a/xa Kal £ttitvxuv Upals ypa<pa7s twv ayiwv irpo- 
(pTjrwv, o't Kal irpouirov fiia. irvev/xaros Oeov ra Trpoyeyov6ra, £ rpoirai ytyove, Kal 
ra eveffricra rivt rpoTrw yiverai, Kal ra iirepx^^va nolo. Ta|et awaprto-6T]0-erar 
aTr68ei£iv ovv Aafiwv rSiv yivo\nivwv Kal irpoavaire<po)VT]fxevccv, ovk amarw- aWa. 
■Ki(TT({w irtiQapx&v Q(w. THEOrn. A>t. Ad Autol. lib. i. § alt. Ad fin. Op. Just. 
Maet. ed. Ben. p. 346. (ed. Colon. 16S6. p. 78.) 

2 'E^roiiy, ortc TpoTTCo ra\r)9es ££evpe7v Svvafiat. TIepivoovvri St fioi ra o-irov- 
Sa7a, crvvefir] ypacpals rialv ivrvx^v /3ap&apiKa7s, trpeo-fivrtpais fxiv, u>s irpbs ra. 
'EAA-qvcov Soyfiara, Bewrepais 5e us wpbs rriv eKeivutv irKavqw Kal fioi ireicr- 
6r)vai ravrats crvvt8r] 5ia re ruv Ae'|ea>v to &rv<pov, Kal rocv tiirovrtcv rb avcirLrri- 
Sevrov, Kal rris rod travrbs Trolr)o~tu:s rb ivKaraArjirrov, Kal rwv uitAAovrwv rb irpo- 
yvwariKbv, Kal ruv wapayyeA/xdraiv rb i^aicnov, Kal rwv oAwv rb fj.ovapx'Kov. 
0€o5i5o«Tou 8e p.ov ytvo/j.evrjs rrjs ^i^tjs, o-vvr t Ka, on, k. t. A. Tatiam Contra 
ChrsBC. orat. § 29. Ad fin. Op. Just. Maet. cd. Btn. pp. 267, 8. (ed. Colon. 
1686. p. 165.) 


The faith of Tatian, therefore, was grounded upon the inter- 
nal evidence which Scripture itself contains to its divine origin. 

Tertullian. (fl. a. 192.) 

To the same effect speaks Tertullian. " We prove," he says, 
" the Scriptures to be divine, if there is any doubt as to their 
" antiquity." And how does he proceed to do this ? From their 
own testimony. " Neither," he adds, " is this to be learnt with 
" difficulty, or from any external teacher. The things that will 
" teach us this truth are before our eyes. The world, the age, 
" events. Whatever is done was foretold. Whatever is seen, 
" was there heard. That the earth swallows up cities, that the 
" sea causes islands to disappear, &c. [adding various other 
" events] all these are written beforehand. While we suffer 
" these things, they are being read to us ; while we recognize 
" these events, their truth is proved. The correctness of the 
"prophecy is, I think, a sufficient proof of its divine origin. 
" Hence, therefore, our belief of things future is safe, as of 
" things already proved, inasmuch as they were foretold with those 
u things the truth of which is daily proved. The same words 
" sound in our ears, the same writings make them known, the 

" same Spirit moves in them How offend we, I pray you, 

" when we believe also the future, who have already by two 
" successive proofs learnt to believe them ?" l 

1 "Divinas [i. e. " Scripturas"] probainus, si dubitatur antiquas. Nee hoc 
tardius aut aliunde discendum. Coram sunt quae docebunt; mundus et seculuin 
et exitus. Quicquid agitur, praenunciabatur. Quicquid videtur, audiebatur. 
Quod terras vorant urbes, quod insulas maria fraudant, quod externa atque interna 
bella dilaniant, quod regnis regna compulsant, quod fames et lues et locales quaeque 
clades et frfcquentiae pleraque montium vastant, quod humiles sublimitate, sublimes 
bumilitate mutantur, quod justitia rarescit et iniquitas increbescit, bonarum omnium 
disciplinarum eura torpescit, quod etiam officia temporum et elementorum mania 
exorbitant, quod et monstris et portentis naturalium forma turbatur, providenter 
BCripta sunt. Dum patimur, legimtur ; dum recognoscimus, probantur. Idoneum, 
opinor, testimonium divinitatis Veritas divinationis. Hinc igitur apud nos futur- 
omm quoque fides tuta est, jam scilicet probatorum ; quia cum illis, qua- quotidie 
probantur, praedicebantur. Esedem voces sonant, eaedem literae notant, idem 
spiritus pulsat. TJnum tompus est divinationi, futui-a prsefandl. Apud homines, 
si forte, distinguitur dum expungitur : dum ex futuro praesens, dehinc ex prae- 
senti praeteritum deputatur. Quid delinquimus, oro vos, futura quoque credentes, 
qui jam didicimus illis per duos gradus credere ? " TEETrLL. Apologet. c. 20, 
Op. ed. 1664. p. 18. 


Such, then, is the character of the arguments to which 
Tertullian would have recourse in proving the divine origin of 
the Scriptures. 

Clement of Alexandria, (fl. a. 192.) 

Our next witness shall be Clement of Alexandria, who not 
only does not offer anything to support the views of our oppo- 
nents, though his subject would inevitably have led him to do 
so in several places, had he entertained them, but everywhere 
proposes, as the grounds of our faith in Scripture as the word 
of God, either the internal testimony afforded by the excellence 
of its doctrines and precepts, or the external testimony afforded 
by the fulfilment of prophecy, and the miracles of Christ and 
his followers, and the wonderful success of the Christian religion 
in the face of all opposition. 

Thus, in his Admonition to the Gentiles, the whole of his 
argument is directed to the proof of the excellence of that reli- 
gion laid down in the Scriptures, that the Holy Scriptures 
(according to a passage already quoted) are truly holy, for they 
make men holy, and even divine. We want, then, nothing 
more, if this argument is good ; for that which proves the reli- 
gion revealed in the Scriptui'es to be divine, proves all which 
we want a proof of. Are our opponents ready to give up this 
argument as not sufficiently forcible ? If so, they are ready to 
yield the best bulwark of Christianity, and they will find that 
ecclesiastical testimony which they would substitute in its place 
but a broken reed. The testimony of the Church, indeed, is 
one which, if it be not obtruded upon men as having a degree 
of authority to which it has no claim, will always be received 
with respect, and be allowed its due weight in the decision of so 
important a question ; but it is a testimony which, from its very 
nature, can only occupy a secondary place. 

So, also, in his Stromata, we find not the least reference to 
the testimony of the Church respecting the Scriptures, as proving 
their divine origin, but only appeals either to the internal testi- 
mony borne by their excellence to their own character, or to the 
external testimonies we have mentioned to the divinity of their 
doctrine. Thus, he says, — " Inquiry is an endeavour to ascer- 


f tain somethings by finding out, through certain signs, the sub- 
" ject of inquiry ; but discovery is the end and cessation of 
" inquiry, when it has arrived at comprehension, which is know- 
f ledge .... And they say that a sign is that which goes before, 
" or that which attends, or that which follows. Of the inquiry, 
" therefore, respecting God, the discovery is, the doctrine 
" delivered by the Son. But for a sign that that very Son of 
" God is our Saviour, we have the prophecies that preceded his 
" advent proclaiming him, and the testimonies concerning him 
ff that accompanied his birth among men, and also his mighty 
" works preached and clearly manifested after his ascension. 
" The evidence, therefore, that the truth is with us, is that the 
" Son of God taught it. For if in every question these general 
" principles are ascertained, the person and the thing, that 
" which is really the truth is shown to be with us alone ; since 
" of the truth so manifested the person manifesting is the Son of 
" God, but the thing manifested is the power of the faith, which 
" rises superior to every one, whosoever he may be, that opposes 
" it, nay even the whole world itself arrayed against it." l 

And alluding again, further on, to these testimonies, as the 
evidences that the Christian faith came from God, he adds, — 
" The word of our Master hath not remained in Judea only, as 
" philosophy in Greece, but has been diffused through the whole 
" world .... and as to the Grecian philosophy, if any magistrate 
" opposed it, it immediately perished ; but as to our doctrine, 
" from the very period of its first promulgation it has been 
" opposed by kings and emperors, and magistrates and generals, 

1 'TLariv Se f) (ikv ^i]rrj(ris, oppvi) enl rb Kara\a&e~iv 5ia nvwv atipieicov avevp'ia- 
Kov<ra rb inroKeluevov 7) evpeais Se, nepas Kal avdnavais frjTTjcrecos ev KaraX^et 

yevofxev-qs' oixep iffriv r) yvwffis' trrifieiov 8' eivai (paal rb Trporiyovfj.evov, fj 

avvvnapxov, i) eirofievov rr/s rolvvv irepl Qeov ^7]rr)aeoos evpeais iJ-ev, V Sia rov 
vlov SiSacncaKia.- at\p.e1ov Se rov elvat rbv ~2.<i>rrjpa r)fj.wv abrov eKelvov rbv vlbv rov 
Qeov, al re TTpoTiyovjxevai rrjs irapovcrlas abrov Trpo<pr)re?ai, rovrov Kf\pvo~aovo~av 
at re ffvvvwdp^acrat rrj yevr)crei avrov rfj alaOrirtj irepl abrov /xaprvpiaf irpbs Se 
Kal /xera. rr)v dvd\r]\piv K7]pvo-o~6p.evai re koI e/xtpavws SetKvv/j.evat Svva/xets abrov' 
reKp.r)oiov &pa rod wap" r)fuv elvai rr\v a.M)9eiav,rb abrbv Si5d£at rbv vlbv rov Qeov- 
ei yap irepl trav £r\rr\fjLa KaQoKina ravra evpiffKerat, irp6a<i>Tr6v re Kal Trpaypa, y\ 
ovrcus a\i\0eia Trap' rj/xiv Se'iKwrai /xSvots- errel irpSo'anrov //.tv rrjs SeiKWixevqs a.\rj- 
Oeias, 6 vlbs rov Qeov- rb irpaytxa Se, r) Svvafus rrjs wio-rews, r) Kal iravrbs ovrivos 
oZv evavriovfxevov, Kal abrov ftKov evLO~rafj.evov rov k6o-^ov Tr\eovd£ovaa. Cl.KM. 
Alex. Strom, lib. vi. § 15. Op. ed. Potter, torn. ii. p. 801 (or, 671.) 


" with all their mercenaries, and innumerable other men, who 
" have made war against us, and done all they could to cut us 
"off; but it flourishes the more; for it perishes not, like a 
" human doctrine, it languishes not, like a powerless gift, for no 
" gift of God is powerless, but remains unimpeded, though 
" under the prediction that it shall be persecuted unto the 
" end." 1 

These, and such only as these, are the considerations which 
are used by Clement as the grounds for faith in the revelations 
of Scripture as the word of God. He does not even allude to 
the testimony of the Church, but places the whole burthen of 
proof upon evidence altogether distinct from and independent 
of that testimony ; for the miracles and wonderful propagation 
of Christianity to which he alludes may be abundantly proved 
from other sources. 

Origen. (fl. a. 230.) 

Let us proceed to Origen, who, in the beginning of his fourth 
book " On first principles," expressly treats on the grounds we 
have for believing the Scriptures to be divine ; and throughout 
the whole of his remarks never once alludes to the testimony of 
the Church, as forming even one of those grounds. 

He first points out, how different had been the reception 
given by the world to the two great lawgivers of the Jews and 
Christians, Moses and Jesus Christ, from that which heathen 
philosophers had experienced, none of the latter having induced 
even one whole nation to live according to their precepts. 2 He 

1 'O 8e ye rov BibaaKaAov rod r/fierepov \6yos, ovk ep.eivev ev 'lovSaia jx6vri, 

KaBdwep ev rfj 'EAAaSt ri <pi\oao<picf exvSv ^e ava. iraaav rijv olKOVfievrfV 

Kal rrjv (pi\o<To<plav rrjv "E\\7)VLKrju eav 6 rvx&v &px&v KicAvcrri, o?x e ' rat ira- 
paxpvi*a' rrjv 8?) [5e] r/fierepav di8ao~KaAiav eK rore ovv Kal rfj npwrr) KarayyeAla 
KioXvovcnv 6/xov fiaaiAe'is, Kal rvpavvot, Kal oi Kara fxepos &pxovres, Kal riyepoves 
fj.era rccv /xi<rdo<p6pcov cnravrccv, irpbs 5e Kal ruiv airelpwv avOpwiruv, Karaarpa- 
Tev6/u.evoi re yfJ-ivv, Kal Herri Svva/xis eKKdirretv ireipca/xevor »; Se, Kal /j.aA\ov av0er ob 
yap i>s avOpunrlvri airoQvr)o-Kei StSaffKaAta, ovb" ws atrdev^s /xapaiverai Scaped, 
ovdefx'ta yap aadevrjs b~u>pea &eov' fxevei Se aKuAvros, Siaixdvcreo-Oai els re\os irpo- 
(prirevBelcra. Id. Strom, lib. vi. § nit. torn. ii. p. 827. (or, 697, 8.) 

2 Origen. De princip. lib. iv. § 1. Op. ed. Ben. torn, i. pp. 15G, 7. 


then proceeds to remark, that the success of Christianity in so 
short a time, and propagated by so few persons amidst the 
greatest opposition, was what he could not hesitate to call a 
work beyond the power of man. 1 And this was predicted by 
Christ ; and thus the fulfilment of his predictions shows, that 
God truly incarnate had delivered to men the doctrines of sal- 
vation. 2 He then adverts to the prophecies of the Old Testa- 
ment, and their fulfilment in Christ, as a further evidence. 3 
The next point he mentions is the journeying of the Apostles 
into the whole world, as a superhuman undertaking, the conse- 
quence of a divine command ; and that the way in which their 
new doctrine was listened to, and those who plotted against 
them were overcome by a divine power watching over them, 
might well make us believe, that they worked miracles, and that 
God bare them witness by signs and wonders ; 4 where we may 
observe, how he places our belief in the fact of their having 
worked miracles, not upon mere human testimony, but upon the 
deductions of sense and reason from what was obvious. To which 
we may add, he remarks, that the advent of Christ threw a light 
upon the prophecies, which proved them to be from God. 5 
" Xay," he says, " he who carefully and attentively reads the 
" prophecies, feeling from the very perusal of them the footsteps 
" of inspiration, will, by the effect produced upon him, be con- 
" vinced, that what are esteemed to be the words of God are 
"not the writings of men." G And, lastly, he points to the 

1 Me7£ov $\ koto. &v6panrov rb wpayfia elvai Keyetv oil SiffTa^ofiev. Ld. ih. § 2. 
i. 157. 

2 "Ore 8e (K&efiriKe to. fxera roaavrns e|oucrias eipr]fxei/a, e/jupalvet 6ebv aATjPaiy 
ivavQp(inri)<TavTo. (ranripia Soyfj.ara rols ayBpunrois irapaSeSuKevai. Id. ib. i. 158. 

3 Id. ib. §§ 3—5. i. 15S— 161. 

4 'E7na"r?j<raTa> 5e Tts Kal ttj roiv o/ko(Tt6Koiv iravraxocre iiriSrifxia ruiv irwb tuv 
'Irjcrov eVl rb KarayyeTAai rb evayyiXiov -KefxcpBivrwv, Kal fyerat Kal rb T6\fir]fia 
ov Kara &v6panroy, Kal rb eTrlray/xa Oelov. Kal iav i^eTaawuev irws &v6pwiroL 
KaivSiv ixaOrmaroiv aKOvovies Kal ^evwv \6yoiv Trpoo~T)Kai>TO rovs &vb~pas, viKrjdfvres 
4v tw $e\etv avTols eiri^ovXeveiv inro rivos Otias Svvdfj.edis eiriorKoirovcrris avrovs, ovk 
aTTiaTritTOfxev el Kal repacnta Tre-noii)Ka<Jiv, eiri/xaprvpovvros tou @eov Tails X6~/ois 
avjuiv, Kal Sia arijj.uuv, Kal reparoiv, Kal ttoik'iKojv Bvvdnewv. Id. ib. § 5. 
i. 161. 

5 'H 'lrj(rov eiriS^fMia els Tov/x<paves ijyayev, ws ovpav'iip yapni avaye- 

ypaixfteva. Id. ib. § 6. i. 161, 2. 

6 'O 5e' ewifieXetas Kal irpoaox^s ivTvyx&vuiv rots irpoqyrjTiKoTs \6yois, 


effects of Scripture-teaching on the minds of men, notwith- 
standing its simplicity, as another evidence of its divine origin. 1 

And there he quits the subject, proceeding to say, that having 
thus briefly spoken to the question that the divine Scriptures are 
divinely inspired, it was necessary for him to pass on to the 
method of reading and understanding them. 3 

And in the same way he refers, in his controversy with 
Celsus, to the fulfilment of the prophecies, as the ground upon 
which they were considered to be divinely inspired ; and that, 
therefore, Christians did not believe, without having a reasonable 
foundation for their belief, as Celsus had objected to them. 3 

Lactaxtius. (fl. a. 303.) 

" Those who are ignorant of the truth," says Lactantius, 
" think that the prophets are not to be believed. For they say, 
" that their words are not divine, but human." How, then, does 
he meet this, and in what way does he endeavour to lead these 
objectors to a recognition of the divine inspiration of Scripture? 
His words are these ; — " But we daily see their prophecies ful- 
" filled, and in the course of fulfilment ; and the agreement in 

" their prophecies shows that they were not mad Were 

" they, then, deceitful who uttered such things ? "What can be 
" so completely alien to them as a design to deceive, when they 

" restrain others from every kind of fraud ? Moreover, 

" the desire to fabricate and lie belongs to those who seek wealth, 
" who desire gain ; which was far from being the case with 
" those holv men Therefore, where the desire of gain 

■xaOaiv e| avrov rov avayiviicnceiv Xxvos evdovcriao~fj.ov, Si' &v Traax (l t Teto~6r]o~eTat, 
ovk avOpioTTicy elvai (rvyypdfiuara tovs TTetrio'Tevfj.evovs Qeov \6yovs. Id. ib. 
§ 6. i. 162. 

1 Ei yap al Ka6rjua^evfj.evai tu>v awoSei^ewv SSol irapa to?s avBpwircis evairo- 
Kelfxevai tois fii&Xiois KaTiffx vo ' a ' / T ^ 3V avQpusiroiv, i) tticttis i)(j,£)V ev\6,a>s av 
inre\au.$dveTO ev o~o<pia avdpdirwp, Kal ovk ev Qeov. NDv Se to; eirapauTi 
robs 6<p8a\/xovs, aa<pes oti 6 \6yos kcu to Krjpvyp.a irapa tois iroWols ov SeSvvriTai 
ev ireiBols o~o<p'ias \6yois, aAA' ev airo$ei£ei TLvevfUvros Kal Swafjews. Id. ib. 
§ 7. i. 163. 

- M«T(i to in iv elprjKevai irepl tov 6eoirvevo~Tovs elvai tos Betas ypa- 
<pas, avayKaiov eire^eXde'iv t<£ Tpoirt? ttjs avayvwaews Kal voriaews avrwv. Id. ib. 
§ 8. i. 164. 

3 Id. Contra Cels. lib. vi. § 10. i. 630, 7. 


" was absent, there also the will and the reason for deception 
" was absent." l 

Such are the gi'ounds upon which Lactantius places the proof 
of the divine inspiration of Scripture. 

Eusebius of CLesarea. (fl. a. 315.) 

Let us proceed to Eusebius of Csesarea, in whose works entitled, 
" The Evangelical Preparation/' and " The Evangelical Demon- 
stration," the reader will find this matter fully discussed, but to 
which our present limits will only admit of this general reference. 

Moreover, as it respects the authority or grounds upon which 
we draw the line between the Apostolical books and those falsely 
pretending to an Apostolical origin, Eusebius refers us not 
exclusively to the testimony of ecclesiastical writers, but to the 
internal evidence. After having stated, that they are not quoted 
by ecclesiastical writers, he adds, " Moreover, the phraseology 
" differs from that used by the Apostles. And the sentiments, as 
" well as the purport of those things which are delivered in them, 
" differing very widely from the true orthodox faith, clearly show, 
" that they are the productions of heretics." ~ 

And further on, speaking of some books professing to contain 
the dialogues of Peter and Appion, he says, " Of which there is 
" no mention made by the antients ; for they do not preserve the 
" pure mark of Apostolical orthodoxy." 3 

1 " At enim veritatis expertes non putant his [i. e. prophetis] esse creden- 

dum. Illas enim non divinas sed humanas voces fuisse aiunt Atqoi 

[at cpiinPaA ed.~] impletaesse in plerisque [iniplerique Par. ed.'} quotidie illorum 
vaticinia videmus ; et in unam sententiam congruens divinatio docet non fuisse 
furiosos. . . . Num ergo fallaces erant,"qui talia loquebantur ? quid ab his tain 
longe alienum quam ratio fallendi, cum caeteros ab omni fraude cohiberent ? . . . . 
Praeterea voluntas fingendi ac mentiendi eorum est qui opes appetunt, qui lucra 

desiderant ; qua? res procul ab ilhs Sanctis viris abfuit Ergo a quibus abfuit 

studium lucri, abfuit etiam voluntas et causa fallendi," &c. Lactant. Instit. 
Lib. I. c. 4. Op. ed. Cant. 1685.'p. 9. or, ed. Par. 1748. vol. i. p. 13. 

2 YlippiD Se irov teal d rrjs (ppdatais irapd rb $6os rb a.Tzoaro\iKbf ivaKKaTTti 
XapaKTTip- 7j T€ yvw/irj Kal f) tuiv if avroh (pspopiivaiv irpoalpecris, irXuaTov oaov 
tt)s d\r]6ovs 6p0o5o|iar anaSovaa, on 5tj alptTiKwv dySpaiu ava-rrKaafxara riryxa- 
vu, o-cupus irapio-Ttio-iu. Er/SEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. hi. c. 25. Inter Hist. Eccles, 
Gra3C ed. Reading, vol. i. p. 120. 

3 v Clv ovo' '6\<i>s p-vy\p.t) ris trapa rots traKatois (pfperar ovoi yap KaBapbv ttjs 
anoo-ToKiKTis opOooo^tas awo<Tib£(i rbv x a P aKT VPO- I 1 *- ' h - c - 38. ed. ead. vol. j. 
}>. 135. 



Hilary of Poictiers. (fl. a. 354.) 

Hilary of Poictiers, giving an account of the way in which he 
himself had been induced to accept Scripture as a divine revela- 
tion, thus writes ; — " Therefore, while I was turning over in my 
" mind these things, and many others of the same kind, I fell in 
" with those books which the religion of the Hebrews declared 
" to be written by Moses and by the prophets, in which, God 
" himself, the Creator, testifying of himself, these things were 
" thus contained, ' I am that I am ;' and again, ' Thus shalt thou 
" say unto the children of Israel, He that is, sent me unto you.' 
" I was at once struck with admiration at so perfect a description 
" of God, which declared the incomprehensible knowledge of the 
" divine nature in words most suitable to the human under- 

" standing My mind, held by the desire of the truth, was 

" delighted with these most pious notions respecting God 

" Therefore, my mind, full of these researches after the views 
" and doctrines of piety, rested as it were in a place of retirement, 

" viewing afar off this most beautiful theory But my mind 

" was agitated, partly by its own fear, partly by that of the body. 
" Which, when it firmly retained its views in a pious confession 
" respecting God, and had become anxious and careful respect- 
" ing itself and this its abode, about, as it supposed, to fall with 
" itself, after becoming acquainted with the law and the prophets, 
" it arrives at the knowledge also of that Evangelical and Apo- 

" stolical doctrine, ' In the beginning was the Word, &c.' 

" [and quoting other passages of Scripture, he adds] .... Here, 
" now, my fearful and anxious mind found more hope than it 

" expected Therefore my mind embraced joyfully this 

" doctrine of the divine mystery In this ease and con- 

" sciousness of its security my mind, full of joyful hopes, had 
" found rest/' &c. 1 

1 " Hsec igitur, raultaque alia cjusniodi cum aiiimo reputans incidi in eos libros 
quos a Mose atque a prophetis scriptos esse Hebraeorum religio tradebat; in 
quibus, ipso creatore Deo testante de se, base ita contiuebantur, ' Ego sum qui sum ;' 
et rursum, ' Ha?c dices filiis Israel, misit me ad vos Is qui est.' Admiratus sum 
plane tarn absolutam de Deo significatiouem, qua naturae dirinse incomprehen- 
sibilem cognitionem aptissimo ad intelligent iam hnmanam sermone loqueretur. . . . 
His religiiisissimis de Deo opinionibus v r eri studio detent\is animus delectabatnr 


To nothing, we see, does Hilary refer as having induced hiui 
to accept the doctrine of Scripture as divine, but the power of 
the internal evidence. 

Augustine, (ft. a. 396.) 

Our next witness is Augustine, who in his " Confessions" thus 
states the motives that in his own case led to a recognition of 
the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. 

" Thou, O Lord," he says, " with thy most mild and merciful 
" hand, by degrees settling and composing my mind, when I 
" considered how many things I believed which I did not see, 
" and was not present when they were done .... didst persuade 
" me, that not those who believed thy books, which thou hast 
" supported by such a weight of authority in almost all nations, 
" were to be blamed, but those who did not believe them ; 
" and that those were not to be listened to who might say to me, 
" Whence do you know that those books ivere supplied to mankind 

" by the Spirit of the true and most faithful God ? Since 

" we [mortals] were weak for the discovery of the truth by 
" evident reason, and on this account there was need of the 
" authority of the holy Scriptures, I had already begun to be 
" convinced, that thou wouldst not at all have given so pre- 
" eminent an authority to that Scripture through all lands, 
" unless it had been thy will, that through it thou shouldst 
" be believed in, and through it thou shouldst be sought. 
" For now, having heard many things in them shown to have 
" the appearance of truth, I referred the [seeming] absur- 
" dity which used to offend me in those writings to the sub- 
" limity of the mysteries [of which they spoke]; and that 

.... His itaque pise opinionis atque doctrinee studiis animus inibutus, in seccssu 
quodam ac specula pulcherrimse hujus sentential requiescebat. . . . Fatigabatur 
auteni animus partim suo partim corporis metu. Qui cum et constantem senten- 
tiam suam pia de Deo professione retineret, et sollicitain de se atque hoc oceasuro 
secum, ut putabat, babitaculo suo cm-am recepisset, post coguitionem legifl ac 
propbetarum istiusmodi quoque doctrinaj evangelicae atque apostolicae iustituta 

cognoscit; ' Iu principio erat Verbtun,' &C Hie jam mens trepida et anxia 

plus spei invenit quaui exspectabat. . . . Hauc itaque divini sacramenti doctrinam 
mens lasta suscepit. ... In hoc ergo conscio securitatis sua) otio mens spebus suis 
laeta requieverat," &c. Hil. Pict. Dc Trin. lib. 1. §§ 5—14. Op. ed. Ben. col. 

x 2 


" authority appeared to me to be more venerable, and worthy of 
" a more devoted faith, on account of its being open to the 
" perusal of all, and preserving the dignity of its mystery in a 
" more profound meaning, while, by its plain words and simple 
" style of phraseology, it offers itself to all, and exercises the 
" diligence of those who are not light minded." l 

And a little farther on in the same work he says, — " I will 
" hear and understand how in the beginning thou didst make 
" the heaven and the earth. Moses wrote this ; he wrote it and 
" departed :" and adding, that had he been present he would 
have asked him of the matter, he says, " But whence should I 
" know whether he spoke the truth ? And if I knew this, 

" should I know it from him ? Truth within me would 

" say, He speaks the truth ; and I, immediately assured, would 
" say confidently to thy messenger, Thou speakest the truth." 3 
Such were the actings of Augustine's own mind on this point, 
and I need hardly add, that the testimony borne in a work of 
this kind is much more forcible as an index of the real views of 
Augustine than any statements in his controversial works. 
Moreover, as to the grounds upon which we rest the genuine- 

1 " Tu, Domine, rnanu initissima et ruisericordisshna pertractans et componens 
cor ineum, consideranti quam iimumerabilia crederem qua? non viderem, neque 
cum gererentur adfuissem. . . . persuasisti mihi, non qui crederent libris tuis, quos 
tanta in omnibus fere gentibus auctoritate fundasti, sed qui non crederent, esse 
culpandos ; nee audiendos esse, si qui forte mibi dicerent, Unde scis illos libros 

raiius veri et veracissimi Dei Spiritu esse humano generi ministratos ? Cum 

essemus infirmi ad inveniendam liquida ratione veritatem, et ob hoc nobis opus 
esset auctoritate sanctarum litterarum, jam credere cceperam nullo modo te fuisse 
tributurum tarn excellentem illi Scriptural per omnes jam terras auctoritatem, nisi 
et per ipsam tibi credi, et per ipsam te qua?ri, voluisses. Jam enim absurditatem 
qua? me in illis litteris solebat oflendere, cum multa ex eis probabiliter exposita 
audissem, ad sacramentorum altitudinem referebam : eoque mibi ilia venerabilior 
et sacrosancta fide dignior apparebat auctoritas, quo et omnibus ad legendum esset 
in promtu, et secreti sui dignitatem in intellectu profundiore servaret, verbis 
npertissimis et humilliino genere loquendi se cunctis prsebens et exercens inten- 
tionem eorum qui non sunt leves corde." Atjgustini Confess, lib. vi. c. 5. Op. 
ed. Ben. torn. i. col. 122, 123. 

2 " Audiam et inteUigam, quomodo in principio fecisti ccelum et terrain. 

Scripsit hoc Moyses, scripsit et abiit Sed unde scirem, an verum diceret ? 

Quod si et hoc scirem, num ab illo scirem ? Intus utique mihi, intus in domicilio 

cogitationis Veritas, sine oris et lingua; organis, sine strepitu syllabarum 

diceret, Verum dicit. Et ego statim certus confidenter illi homini too dicerem, 
Verum dicis." Id. ib. lib. xi. c. 3. i. 197. 


ness and incorrupt preservation of the books of Scripture, the 
following passage from his work against Faustus the Manichee, 
will clearly show us, what was his view of the matter. " If you 
" ask of us," he says, "how r we know that these are the writings 
" of the Apostles, we briefly answer you, that we know this just 
" in the same way as you know that these are the writings of 
" Manichaeus ; 1 proceeding to say, that, as they would laugh at 
any one who should deny " a thing confirmed by such a con- 
tinued hue of connexion and succession/' ~ as the fact that then- 
books were written by Manichaeus, so they themselves were to be 
laughed at, if they questioned the genuineness of the canonical 
Apostolical writings, " an authority having such a foundation 
" to rest upon, preserved and carried down by certain sue- 
" cessions from the times of the Apostles, even to the present 
" time." 3 

And he says elsewhere (in a passage already quoted), — " The 
" integrity and a knowledge of the writings of any one bishop, 
" how ever illustrious, could not be so preserved, as the canonical 
" Scripture is preserved by the variety uf the languages in which 
" it is found, and by the order and succession of its rehearsal in 
" the Church ; against which nevertheless there have not been 
" wantiDg those who have forged many things under the names 
" of the Apostles. To no purpose, indeed, because it was so in 
" esteem, so constantly read, so well known." 4 

From these passages, then, it is evident, that Augustine rested 
the question of the genuineness of the Scriptures not upon any 
dictum of the Church conveyed down by succession from Aposto- 
lical teaching, nor upon the mere testimony of the Church, but 
upon grounds similar to that on which the genuineness of 
other books rests, though justly considering that those grounds 
were vastly more full and forcible in the former than in the 
latter case. 

1 " Hie jam si quaeratis a nobis, uos unde sciainus Apostoloruin esse istas litte- 
raa, breviter vobis respondents, hide nos scire, unde et Toe scitis illus litUrascsse 
Maukhaei." Id. Contra Faust, lib. xxxii. e. 21. viii. 462. 

2 " Rem tanta coimexionis et successions serie confirmatam." Id. ib. 

1 ■ Tarn fundatae auctoritati, a temporibus ApoBtoknrum usque ad hac tempora 
ccrtis Bucceaeionibus cnstodxta atqne perdocUB." Id. ib. 

4 "Ep. ad Vincent. Bogat. ep. 93. ii. 2!'I. 7 Bee alK>ve,\ol. i. p. 195. 


Nay, he draws a distinction between the canonical books 
themselves on account of the difference in the amount of the 
external testimony to them. " In the canonical Scriptures," he 
says, " let him follow the authority of as many Catholic Churches 
" as possible, ainoDg which let those without fail be included, 
" which have deserved to have Apostolical Chairs and to receive 
" Apostolical Epistles. Therefore he will observe this method 
" in the canonical Scriptures, that he must prefer those which 
" are received by all Catholic Churches to those which some do 
" not receive ; but in the case of those which are not received by 
" all, let him prefer those which the greater number and the 
" worthier receive, to those which the fewer Churches and those 
" of less authority hold. But if he shall have found, that 
" some are maintained by the greater number, and others by 
" those of more weight, although he cannot easily find this, 
" I think, nevertheless, that such are to be esteemed of equal 
" authority." l 

On the statements in this passage I offer no opinion, as that 
would be irrelevant to our present subject, but one thing it 
certainly proves, namely, the wide difference between the views 
of Augustine on the question, and those of the Romanists and 
the Tractators. 

We may also remark, both from this and other passages, that 
Augustine often uses the word " authority," not in the sense of 
something absolutely and of itself binding those on whom it 
acts, but rather in the sense of a testimony, having a degree of 
weight proportioned to the character and power of him who 
bears it. 

And this leads me to notice the famous passage so frequently 
objected to our views from Augustine. Writing against the 

1 " In canonicis autem Scriptoria Ecclesiarum Catholicarum quamplurium auc- 
toritatem sequatur, inter quas sane ilia? sint, qua; Apostolicas Sedes habere et 
Epistolas accipere meruerunt. Tenebit igitur biuic inodnm in Scriptoria cano- 
nicis, ut eas qusB ab omnibus accipiuntur Ecclesiis catbolicis, praqjouat eis quae 
quffidam non aecipiunt : in eis vero qua; non accipiuntur ab omnibus, prsepooat eas 
quas plurcs gravioresque accipiunt, eis quas pauciores minorisque auctoritatis 
Ecclesise tenent. Si autem alias invenerit a pluribus, alias a gravioribus haberi, 
quamquam hoc facile invenire non possit, sequalis tamen auctoritatis eaa habendae 
puto." Id. Do doctr. Christ, lib. ii. c. 8. iii. part. 1. col. 23. 


Manichees, he says, "But I would not believe the Gospel, if the 
authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so." * 

But that "the authority of the Catholic Church" was not 
the sole motive that induced him to believe the Gospel, is evi- 
dent from what we have already quoted above from his Confes- 
sions ; nor does the passage imply as much, but only that " the 
authority of the Catholic Church " was one necessary ground 
upon which his belief rested; and that that "authority" was 
not absolute in his view, is evident, not only from other pas- 
sages, but from the words that precede, where, after enumerating 
the motives which induced him to prefer the Catholic Church, 
and remarking that none of these were to be found with the 
Manichees, but only the promise of the truth, he adds, — "which 
" indeed, if it is so clearly manifested that it cannot be doubted 
" of, is to be preferred to all those things by which I am retained 
" in the Catholic Church." 2 

This passage, therefore, if explained so as to be consistent 
with Augustine's own statements elsewhere, means no more 
than that the witness of the Church to the Scriptures is an im- 
portant and necessary part of the grounds upon which we believe 
the Scriptures. And if the construction of the argument seems 
to imply more, it is an inconsistency in which we must judge of 
Augustine's real sentiments by the general tenor of his state- 
ments, rather than by a casual argument in a controversial 
work, and an argument which, if I mistake not, savours more 
of the ingenuity of the sophist than the simplicity and force of 
truth. 3 

Chrysostom. (fl. a. 398.) 

Many other testimonies in favor of our views might be added 
from other writers, but, not to multiply them unnecessarily, we 

1 " Ego vero Evangelio non eredereni, nisi mc Catholicae Ecclesisc commoveret 
auctoritas." Id. Contra Ep. Man. quam voc. Fundain. c. 5. viii. 154. 

2 Id. ib. c. 4. viii. 153. Sec the passage, p. 1G8 above. 

3 See Laud's Conf. with Fisher, § 1(5. n. 20. ]>■ 52. and § 19. n. 2. pp. 81, 2. 
.,[ 108G; and Stilling fleet's Vindication of the Answer to some late papers, 
p. 17, 8. ed. 1687. 


conclude with Chrysostorn, who, in his first homily on Matthew, 
refers to the internal evidence of the Gospels, as showing the 
fidelity of the writers, l and also that they were assisted by the 
Spirit of God, 2 and to the influence and success of their ivritings 
in the world at large, as showing that a Divine power accom- 
panied them. 3 


I have thus endeavoured to set before the reader the sentiments 
of the most esteemed of the early Fathers on all the five points 
which form the subject of this work ; and I leave it with him 
to determine, after a careful consideration of their statements, 
whether such language could have been used by them if they 
had held the doctrine of the Tractators ; whether in fact their 
statements are not entirely opposed to that doctrine. Such 
statements, and the opinion that the traditional doctrine of " the 
Church " is a part of the Rule of faith or an authority binding 
on the conscience, are entirely inconsistent with one another. 

Some of the earliest Fathers, indeed, do refer to the consent 
of the Apostolical Churches as sufficient to establish certain 
elementary facts of the Christian faith ; but even they do not 
allege that consent as proving more than those few articles, and 
at the same time declare, that Holy Scripture fully sets forth 
all those doctrines, and they appeal to this tradition of the Apo- 
stolical Churches only to meet the counter appeal of the heretics. 
And the language even of one of these Fathers, namely Irenaeus, 
in a passage already quoted, 4 shows that he was well aware, that 
there were some, when he wrote, who, though they had personal 
succession from the Apostles even in the highest seats of the 
Church, were not to be trusted as their successors in doctrine. 
And Tertullian clearly contemplates the possibility of there 
being such cases. 5 So that their own admissions show, that if 

1 Chets. In Matt. bom. 1. §. 2. Op. torn. vii. p. 5. C.p.6. A, B. 

- Id. ib. § 3. vii. 8. A. 4 See above, vol. ii. p. 344). 

* Id. ib. § 4. vii. 8. C. 9. A, B. 5 See above, vol. ii. p. 339. 


they seem in some passages to claim the consent of all the 
Churches whose ministers had personal succession from the 
Apostles in favor of what they considered the orthodox faith, 
those claims must be understood with some limitations. 

And after their time we find the language of the Fathers 
considerably altered in this respect. They appeal indeed to the 
doctrine of what they considered " the Church " and " the 
Fathers/' but their appeals are of a more indefinite and general 
kind, as indeed amidst the infinite multiplication of churches 
they could not but be. And while they of course refer to that 
doctrine as a confirmation of their views and of the correctness 
of their interpretation of Scripture, they never put it forward as 
a part of the Rule of faith 5 or as binding upon the conscience. 
They hold necessarily, as a matter of fact, that those who did 
not receive that doctrine in fundamental points were involved in 
fatal error. But not because that doctrine had any authority 
over the conscience in its character of Church-tradition, but 
only from their persuasion of its conformity with Holy Scripture. 
They knew that various bodies of men had separated from what 
they held to be " the Church," some of them having the Epis- 
copal succession, and that truth was not necessarily with the 
majority ; and therefore in their zeal for " the Church," which 
was often hot enough, they did not make its Tradition the final 
court of appeal. And these divisions in the early Church are 
too often completely forgotten, or at least treated as if they were 
forgotten. It is argued as if for several centuries all the fol- 
lowers of Christ formed one undivided harmonious body, and one 
doctrinal Tradition pervaded the whole ; whereas it is clear from 
Scripture, that even before the death of the Apostles there were 
Churches possessed of all the outward marks of Churches of 
Christ that had swerved from the true faith. And therefore 
any Patristical appeals to the doctrine of "the Church" of 
Christ, were but appeals to that which the writer considered to 
be so. Immediately the nominal Church became divided, the 
exercise of private judgment as to what was the true faith be- 
came a matter of necessity. 

Had the Fathers held the views of the Tractators, they would 
have said, like them, that the Tradition of the Church, as reprc- 


senting the oral teaching of the Apostles was a divine informant, 
and entitled to equal veneration and regard with the holy Scrip- 
tures ; they would, like them, have objected to a reference to 
Holy Scripture to determine any question, and made the Church's 
interpretation of Scripture the Judge of controversies. But this 
they have not done. The passages adduced from them by our 
opponents and the Romanists fall far short of the statements 
required for the support of their views ; for, however strongly 
the Fathers may appeal to the teaching of what they considered 
" the Church" and her earlier divines, they never put forward 
such teaching as binding the consciences of men. 

The great test of their real views on the subject is the con- 
duct they pursued when any great controversy had arisen on an 
important point of doctrine. In such a case, according to the 
views of our opponents, an appeal to Scripture should have been 
passed over as wholly inconclusive, and the determination of the 
matter made to rest on the Tradition of the Church. And our 
opponents, conscious of this, have endeavoured to make it appear, 
that the Council of Nice did proceed after this fashion. But how 
strangely incorrect their representations on this point have been, 
I have already, I hope, fully proved. And the real course pur- 
sued by the Council, as shown by the accounts of contemporary 
authors above quoted, is one of the strongest possible proofs 
that the doctrine of our opponents respecting Tradition was not 
that of the early Church. The Nicene Fathers did not pretend 
to decide the matter before them from Tradition, but, on the 
contrary, from a careful examination of the language of Holy 

And so we find both Augustine when reasoning with the 
Arians, 1 and Optatus when reasoning with the Donatists, 2 dis- 
tinctly repudiating the notion that the judgment of what they 
considered " the Church" was decisive respecting the matter in 
dispute, and expressly appealing to Scripture as that which alone 
was fitted to be the judge of the controversy, as alone hav- 
ing authority over the consciences of the disputants. They 
clearly saw, that the decision of a portion of the nominal Church 

pp. 1j«j, L60 above. : See pp. 12C, 111 above. 


could not take away the right of private judgment as to the 
meaning of Holy Scripture. 1 

1 The remarks made by tie Tractarian Reviewer of the first edition of this 
work on the extracts given from the Fathers (Brit. Crit. for July 1841, pp. 
98 — 104.) need but little notice, as he scarcely pretends to grapple 

with them. Some of his remarks I have already noticed in previous pages. But 
I may add a word here on one which is put forward as the leading proof of the 
incorrectness of my inference from the passages I have quoted from the 
Fathers. It is urged, that, " on the one hand, the Church from time to time 
added new tests, belief in which was a necessary condition to Church-membership, 
wliile on the other hand Church-membership was considered by all Churchmen as 
essentially necessary to covenanted salvation," and therefore that it was impos- 
sible that they could have recognised the principle that Scripture was the sole 
authoritative Rule of faith to each individual, or as he chooses more obscurely to 
put it, "that each man was bound to draw his own faith from Scripture." And, 
palpable and even puerile as this sophism is, it is put forward as something quite 
irrefragable, and my stupidity is considered so great for supposing such a thing, 
that the Reviewer complacently remarks, " It seems insipid and inadequate to 
call this sort of mental confusion a contradiction in terms." Xow is this writer 
actually unable to see the difference between the rulers of a Church laying down 
certain doctrines both as tests for Church-membership and also as fundamental 
doctrines of the Christian faith, that is, (for it amounts to nothing more) hearing 
their testimony to what they believe to be the truth, and of course acting accord- 
ing to their convictions, and their setting themselves up as the authority upon 
which men are bound to receive the truth ? On which side is the " mental con- 
fusion," I leave the reader to determine. 

The writer adds, with a similar marvellous self-delusion, that "in the early 
centuries writers of the Church used language which may bear an Arian appear- 
ance [an important admission, this] ; after the Council of Xiceea they do so no 
longer," and therefore that if " they modified their language into accordance with 
its decrees, they did not consider themselves justified in interpreting Scripture on 
their own private judgment. Q. E. D." But who are these " writers of the 
Church 7 ' who "modified their language," &c. ? Simply those who, exercising 
their "private judgment" on the meaning of Scripture as to the point in dispute 
between the majority and minority of the Nicene Council, believed the majority 
to have determined the matter rightly, and therefore shaped their language 
accordingly. And when the Reviewer limits the term " writers of the Church" 
to those who adopted the doctrine agreed to by a majority of the Xicene Council, 
he is doing the very thing which he repudiates, namely, exercising his private 
judgment on the meaning of Scripture, and determining that the decision of the 
majority in the Council of Xicasa was right, and that the more numerous Council 
of Ariminum was wrong ; though he admits that some of the earlier Fathers " used 
language which may bear an Arian appearance." Why are not the Arian bishops 
to be considered "writers of the Church f He will reply, They were heretics. 
But how does he prove that ? If he says, — The Church condemned them, — he is 
assuming by an exercise of his private judgment that their opponents constitute 
the Church. And on what ground does he do this, bat because he believes them 
to be orthodox and the Ariana heterodox ? To confine the phrase "the Church" 
to one portion of the nominal followers of Christ, and then argue that all their 


Moreover, even if the Fathers had appealed to the Tradition 
of the Church as, in their day, determining the true faith and the 
right interpretation of Scripture, the difference of our circum- 
stances from theirs is such, that no conclusion could be drawn 
from that fact as to what the doctrine of those very Fathers on 
the value of Tradition would have been at the present day. 
They had some little power of ascertaining what that Tradition 
was, however insufficient for the purpose. We have scarcely any. 
For, for any account of the doctrine of the Christian Church 
during the first three centuries (by far the most important 
period) we have but the remains, mutilated, corrupted, and 
interpolated, of a few writers scattered over the whole of that 
period. And we cannot admit the assertions of two or three 
authors, however respectable, to be a sufficient proof of the 
doctrine of the whole Primitive Church, even though they may 
claim the consent of all the Churches in their favor. For the 
known early corruption of some of the Apostolical Churches 
proves that there could not have been, strictly speaking, such 

opponents are wrong because they are condemned by " the Church," is merely 
to throw dust into our own eyes and become voluntary self-deceivers. 

And it is clear that when the early Fathers spoke of " the Church" and the 
duty of receiving the doctrine of the Church, they did so as believing the body of 
which they spoke to have retained the orthodox faith, and that they were exer- 
cising their private judgment as to which among the great body of nominal 
Christians were orthodox, and which were not. And consequently, however 
strongly they may speak as to the necessity of belonging to and holding the 
doctrines of " the Church," they do not give to the decrees of " the Church" any 
intrinsic authority over the consciences of men. 

While noticing the Reviewer's statements on this subject, I cannot refrain also 
from pointing out how remarkably his statements are opposed on various impor- 
tant points to those of the Fathers. For instance, his objection to the custom of 
giving to students texts of Scripture hi support of the statements in the XXXIX 
Articles, with an intimation that the only effect is, that they are " shocked and 
alarmed by the miserably scanty amount of Scripture testimony dn which the 
very foundation of their faith seemed to rest." (p. 57.) Instead of which it 
appears that they are to be taught to receive everything on the authority of 
the Church. Compare with such statements the language of (to mention no 
more) Cyril of Jerusalem, as given in p. 110 ahovc. Again ; let his scornful repu- 
diation of the notion of there being any direct influence of the Holy Spirit upon 
the minds of individuals for the purpose of teaching them the full meaning and 
import of Scripture (see pp. 67, 8 ; 78 ; &c), be compared with the language of the 
Fathers in the fifth section of this chapter ; as, for instance, of Chrysostom and 
Theodoret; and it will be seen at once, that there is nfundumenlat difference in 
the systems on which the Fathers and the Tract ators ground their hist ructions. 


consent ; nor had these authors sufficient means to ascertain 
the real state of the case ; and Origen claims such consent in 
favor of some of his errors, which proves how seriously we 
might be misled if we depended upon such assertions. 

When therefore we weigh the statements of the Fathers in 
connexion with a consideration of the circumstances in which 
we find ourselves placed, the groundlessness of our opponents' 
appeal to them becomes still more manifest, for even if their 
statements were what our opponents would fain have them con- 
sidered to be (but which I entirely deny them to be) they would 
not support the notion, that the Fathers would have advised us 
to make Tradition part of the Rule of faith. 

And as to any charge of obscurity against Holy Scripture, as 
it respects necessary points of faith, it would be indeed a waste 
of words to add anything to the extracts given in the fifth 
section of this chapter. 

[318 ] 



The doctrine of the Tractators on the subject of " Tradition/' 
has been very confidently put forth by them as the doctrine of 
the Church of England ; and an attempt has been made by Mr. 
Keble in particular to prove this to be the case, by a series of 
extracts from the works of Anglican divines. 

Now, it cannot fail to strike the reader as very remarkable, 
that, if the doctrine of the Church of England on this subject 
is, as we are now told, the same as that of the Church of Rome, 
our divines should have troubled themselves to write, as un- 
deniably they have written, against the Romish doctrine of Tra- 
dition and the Rule of Faith. If the question between us and 
Rome on this subject had been (as Dr. Pusey tells us) " purely 
historical," l relating to the genuineness of certain particular 
traditions, to this question would the dissertations and remarks 
of our divines have been limited. There is, therefore, a prima 
facie case against such a notion of the strongest kind. And I 
will venture to add, and will now endeavour to prove, that the 
further the inquiry be extended, the more complete and over- 
whelming will be the evidence against their having entertained 
such views. 

The extracts given by Mr. Keble in support of the system 
under consideration, are to be found in No. 78 of the Tracts for 
the Times, entitled, " Testimony of writers in the later English 
" Church, to the duty of maintaining, quod semper, quod ubique, 
" quod ab omnibus traditum est," — a copy of which is subjoined 
to his Sermon on Tradition, and the following remarks made 

1 See vol. i. pp. 35, 36. 


respecting it ; " He [i. e. Mr. Keble] is principally anxious to 
" remove any impression which may exist of his wishing to re- 
" commend a new theory, or rule of faith, devised for present 
" occasions, by any particular school of divines, now or at any 
" former time. On the contrary, he is persuaded that what he 
" is endeavouring to inculcate, is no other than the very rule of 
" the Church of England, as distinguished on the one hand 
" from Romish usurpation, on the other from rationalistic licen- 
" tiousness. And in support of this persuasion, he appeals to the 
" collection of authorities concerning Tradition, from the standard 
" English divines, under the title of Catena Patrum, which is sub- 
" joined to this reprint of the sermon, by permission of the 
" Editor of the Tracts for the Times. If he err in his estimate 
" of the spirit of the English Church, it will appear, he trusts, 
" by those papers, that at least his error was not of his own 
" invention — that he has both high and antient authority for 
" it." (p. 68.) 

And in the introductory observations in this Tract, we are 
told, that the extracts were intended " to show, that the Succes- 
" sion of our standard divines ever since their [the Reformers'^ 
" times, understood them to hold that view of doctrine which it has 
" been the endeavour of these Tracts [Tracts for the Times] to re- 
" commend; and that no other can be taken, without contradicting 
" both that illustrious Succession itself, and its judgment concerning 
" the Reformers" 

These remarks, be it observed, are made of those very men, of 
whom Mr. Newman before long discovered, that, in the Service of 
the Eucharist, they "mutilated the tradition of 1500 years," 1 
that the Articles are " the offspring of an uncatholic age," - that 
" it is notorious that the Articles were drawn up by Protes- 
tants, and intended for the establishment of Protestantism," 3 the 
word Protestantism being used to describe those views in our 
Church, which the Tractators oppose, their interpretation of the 
Articles being admitted to be " Anti- Protestant," 4 and " not that 
which their authors took themselves ; " 5 and of whom Mr. Keble 

1 Letter to FausM it . 
: Tract 90. p. 4. 3 lb. p. 80. 

* II,. * II). p. 81. 


himself tells us elsewhere, that, in the revision of the Liturgy, 
they gave up altogether the Ecclesiastical Tradition " regarding 
" certain very material points in the celebration, if not in the 
" doctrine of "the holy Eucharist;" 1 and "must have felt them- 
" selves precluded ever after from urging the necessity o/Episco- 
" pacy, or of anything else on the ground of uniform Church- 
" Tradition." 3 

Such are the astounding self-contradictions of the Tractators ! 

" The doctrine maintained," says the Tract, is, that " Catholic 
" Tradition teaches revealed truth, Scripture proves it ; Scripture 
" is the document of faith, Tradition the witness of it ; the true 
" Creed is the Catholic interpretation of Scripture, or 
" Scripturally-proved Tradition ; Scripture, by itself, teaches 
" mediately, and proves decisively ; Tradition by itself, proves 
" negatively, and teaches positively ; Scripture and Tradi- 


(Tract 78. p. 2.) 

These extracts, therefore, are put forth by Mr. Keble, and the 
Editor of the "Tracts for the Times," as proving, that the 
divines whom they have quoted, maintained their views of the 
doctrine of Tradition. 

The documents and authors quoted in this Tract, are as 

1. Jewel. 2. Convocation of 1571. 3. The Queen's Council 
of 1582. 4. Bilson. 5. Hooker. 6. Convocation of 1603. 
7. Overall. 8. Morton. 9. Field. 10. White, (F.) 11. Hall. 
12. Laud. 13. Montague. 14. Jackson. 15. Mede. 16. Usher. 
17. Bramhall. 18. Sanderson. 19. Cosin. 20. Hammond. 
21. Thorndike. 22. Taylor. 23. Heylin. 24. Commissioners of 
1662. 25. Pearson. 26. Barrow. 27. Bull. 28. Stillingfleet. 
29. Ken. 30. Beveridge. 31. Patrick. 32. Sharp. 33. Potter. 
34. Grabe. 35. Brett. 36. Hicks. 37. Collier. 38. Leslie. 
39. Waterland. 40. Bingham. 41. Jebb. 42. Van Mildert. 

These form Mr. Keble's " illustrious cloud of witnesses for 
Primitive Tradition," as part of the Rule of faith in the Church 
of England ; and upon these authorities I, for my part, am 
quite willing to let the decision of the question rest. Mr. Keble 

1 Pref. to Hooker, p. lxii. 2 lb. 


shall have the full benefit of his own choice of authorities ; and 
if he can prove, that the witnesses whom he has cited support, 
as a body, his views of the subject, I will willingly allow, that I 
have greatly misconceived the tenets of our Church upon this 
important question. I say not, indeed, that all the views of 
Archbishop Laud, and such as agreed with him, are to be held 
to be the views of the Church of England ; still less, that the 
statements of such divines as the Nonjurors Brett and Hickes, a 
small and extreme section of a small party in our Church, (but who 
are now most extraordinarily put forward as the best witnesses 
of the doctrines of that Church,) are to be taken as our guide ; 
but this I am quite willing to allow, that if the witnesses ad- 
duced by Mr. Keble on this subject could be shown generally, 
and as a body, to have supported his views, this would go far to 
prove that they were the views of the Church of England. 

I will content myself, therefore, with Mr. Keble's own wit- 
nesses, but not with his examination of them. The principle 
upon which he proceeds seems to be, that every one who asserts 
that respect is due to Antiquity, supports his system ; and con- 
sequently he has obtained, without the least difficulty, a number 
of passages from various authors, all, as he tells us, defending 
his views. I will, therefore, venture to propose a little friendly 
cross-examination to these witnesses on the particular points 
which make up his system. In other words, in reply to extracts, 
containing, for the most part, merely general and indefinite tes- 
timonies of respect for the writings of the Primitive Church, 
(which all agree, more or less, to be due to them,) I will en- 
deavour to set before the reader, clearly and fully, the real views 
of these authors upon the points in question. 

To follow Mr. Keble through the whole list, is neither neces- 
sary nor practicable within any reasonable limits ; unless, in- 
deed, we could be satisfied with following the example of the 
"Catena" in giving a passage containing merely some general 
remarks, capable, when standing alone, of being understood in 
any way in which a partial reader might choose to interpret 
them. Our purpose, however, is altogether different. It is to 
give a full and correct representation of the views of those to 
whom wc appeal, by passages directly bearing upon the par- 




ticular points in question, and by a full exhibition of their state- 
ments upon those points. It is obvious that to do this with all 
to whom Mr. Keble has referred, would require a volume of itself ; 
and that if a fair selection be made from the witnesses adduced, 
and their views be fully inquired into, the result of such an 
examination will suffice to show the real state of the case. 

Two thirds at least of the authorities quoted by Mr. Keble, 
attribute no more value to the testimony of Patristical Tra- 
dition, than what we have freely granted to it ; and of the rest, 
hardly any, perhaps none, go further, than to use those words 
of respect towards it, which may or may not imply, that they 
held that testimony to have authority in the strict sense of the 
word; and which, in the case of many of them, certainly were 
not intended to imply it ; because the writers have elsewhere 
disclaimed such a notion. 

It is not, however, a point which we need feel at all solicitous 
to prove, that no one, in our communion, has ever broached 
similar sentiments to those maintained in the system under 
review, (though I should find it difficult to mention one who 
ever adopted the system of the Tractators as a whole,) and there- 
fore, without being anxious to deny, that some few of those 
mentioned in the Catena, such as the Nonjurors Brett, Hickes,&c. 
may have maintained the views we are here opposing, I am 
satisfied with showing, that it is one altogether opposed to the 
views advocated in the authorized documents of the Church of 
England, and by the great body of her Divines. 1 

Of the Extracts in the Catena, the 2nd and 6th are taken 
from the public documents of the Church of England; and the 
3rd and 24th from documents with which her name is con- 
nected. I will first, then, investigate the testimony borne by 
the Church of England herself on such points, in her public and 
authorized documents, noticing in that inquiry the four extracts 
given by Mr. Keble, to which we have just alluded ; and will 
then proceed to examine the statements of the following twelve 
from among Mr. Keble's witnesses ; and I think the selection 
will be allowed to be fairly made, and to include the elite of his 

1 For the statement of the points in dispute, Bee pp. fi. 7 above. 


1. Jewel. 2. Hooker. 3. Morton. 4. Hall. 5. Laud. 6. Jack- 
son. 7. Usher. 8. Taylor. 9. Stillingfleet. 10. Patrick. 11. 
Waterland. 12. Van Mildert. 

The Chuuch of England 
{Speaking in her authorized documents) . 

This is, of course, beyond all comparison the most important 
witness ; and from all the various documents of authority, setting 
forth, directly or indirectly, the doctrine of our Church, Mr. 
Keble can find nothing to quote in support of his views, but a 
canon passed in the Convocation of 1571, and one passed in 
that of 1603. 

The canons of 1571, having never received the Royal confir- 
mation in writing, were never put in force, and are, in a legal 
point of view, of no authority ; l but are, no doubt, of much, im- 
portance and authority as witnesses of the sentiments of the 
English Church at that time. The canon in question relates to 
preachers, and orders that "they shall, in the first place, be 
" careful never to teach anything from the pulpit to be religiously 
" held and believed by the people, but what is agreeable to the 
" doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and collected out of 
" that very doctrine by the Catholic Fathers and antient bishops ; 

1 The Queen's assent seems to have been given orally, but not in script is. 
SeeStrype'fl Parker ii. 60; and his Grindal, p. 247 ; and Cardwell's Synodal, i. 
113, 11-4. Hence Collier says; — "These Canons, though subscribed by the 
Bishops of both provinces, wanted the Queen's ratification. The Queen was 
acquainted with what passed in the Synod, and approved the proceedings ; but, 
as it happened, the Royal assent was not given inform. Archbishop Grindal, 
therefore, demurred to the execution of these Canons ; he was afraid a Praemunire 
might reach him. And it seems his scruples were not without reason ; for, by 
venturing thus far, he would have been liable to prosecution, and must have cast 
himself upon the Queen's mercy." Collier's Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 531. Nay 
more, had they received such confirmation, they would not be of any authority 
now, — for "Queen Elizabeth's confirmations [of the Canons passed in her reign] 
extended no farther than her own life." Archbishop Wake's State of the 
Church, &c. p. 507. And, on this ground, they are expressly excluded from " the 
Canons" of our Church, that is, the Canons that are of authority, by Bishop 
Gibson, who limits " the Canons" to those of 1603. See his Codex, Pref. pp. x. x: 
In the Canons of 1603, many of the preceding were republished, and put in 
force; but the Canon in question was not of tie number. 

Y 2 


" [and there Mr. Keble stops, but the Canon goes on,] and 
" since those Articles of the Christian religion, which have been 
" agreed upon by the Bishops in a lawful and holy Synod .... 
" are beyond doubt collected out of the sacred books of the Old 
" and New Testament, and agree in all things with the heavenly 
" doctrine contained in them ; and since the Book of public 
" prayers, and the Book of the consecration of Archbishops, 
" Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, contain nothing repugnant 
" to that doctrine, whoever shall be sent to teach the people, 
" shall confirm the authority and truth of those Articles, not 

" only by their sermons, but also by subscription They 

" shall not teach vain and senseless opinions, and heresies, and 
" Popish errors opposed to the doctrine and faith of Christ, nor 
" anything at all by which the ignorant multitude may be 
" roused to discord, or the love of novelty/' &c. 

The simple object of this canon, then, was to restrict preach- 
ers from bringing any doctrine before their hearers to be 
religiously held and believed, for which they had not some 
authority in the Catholic Fathers and antient bishops, and that, 
in order to prevent their teaching " vain and senseless opinions, 
and heresies, and Popish errors." That is, at a time when a 
great change had just been effected in the doctrine professed 
in the Church, — and a change from a form of religion, in which 
new Articles of faith, utterly unknown (as far as we can find) to 
the Primitive Church, had been introduced, — there was a pru- 
dent restriction placed upon preachers, to prevent their teaching 
" vain and senseless opinions, and heresies, and Popish errors," 
as important truths, viz., that they should be able to support 
the doctrine they preached, by the authority of some generally- 
received writer or writers of Antiquity. A rule "which [as 
" Bishop Patrick says] was set us on purpose to preserve our 
" preachers from broaching any idle, novel, or Popish doctrines, 
" as appears by the conclusion of that injunction." l " The 
" Canon," says Dr. TVaterland, " does not order, that they shall 
" teach whatever had been taught by Fathers ; no, that would 
" have been setting up a new Rule of faith ; neither does it say, 
" that they shall teach whatsoever the Fathers had collected 

1 Br. Patrick's Discourse about Tradition. Lond. 1083. Pt. 1. § 5. p. 21. 


" from Scripture ; no, that would have beeu making them 
" infallible interpreters or infallible reasoners : the doctrine must 
" be found first in Scripture ; only to be the more secure that we 
" have found it there, the Fathers are to be called in to be, as 
" it were, constant checks upon the presumption or wantonness 
" of private interpretation. But then, again, as to private inter- 
" pretation, there is liberty enough allowed to it. Preachers 
" are not forbidden to interpret this or that text, or hundreds 
" of texts, differently from what the Fathers have done ; pro- 
". vided still they keep within the analogy of faith, and presume 
"not to raise any new doctrine; neither are they altogether 
" restrained from teaching anything new, provided it be offered 
" as opinion only, or an inferior truth, and not pressed as neces- 
" sary upon the people. For it was thought, that there could 
" be no necessarij article of faith or doctrine now drawn from 
" Scripture, but what the antients had drawn out before from 
" the same Scripture : to say otherwise, would imply that the 
" antients had failed universally in necessaries, which is morally 
" absurd." 1 A very prudent restriction at that time, and per- 
fectly admissible at any time ; but, in support of the views of 
our opponents, it proves nothing ; on the contrary, it is, as 
I shall show presently, directly opposed to them. For the 
question between us is, — not whether the writings of the Ca- 
tholic Fathers that remain to us, are a useful guide, and upon 
the whole ranged on the side of the orthodox faith ; so that 
he who goes contrary to them all in vital points, is in error ; 
but — whether their consent is authoritative, is part of the 
Rule of faith, is binding upon the conscience; and, I might 
add, whether, if it were so, with the exception, possibly, of a 
very few points laid down in so many words in Scripture, we 
could obtain their consentient testimony in favor of any one 
contested point of doctrine. 

Xow, to the notion that their consent would be authoritative 
in itself, our Church, neither here nor elsewhere, holds out the 
smallest sanction. The direction was, indeed, a mere practical 
recognition of the fact, that the orthodox faith, in all vital points, 

1 \Vateela>*i/s Imp. of Docfar. of Trin. ch. viL On ate and value of Bcdes. 

Aiitiq. See hi* Woik?, voL v. pp. 317, 18. 


was to be found in the writings of the Catholic Fathers, and a 
proposal of them to the clergy, as a useful practical check upon 
error. So that preachers in the Church of England might not 
bring forward, as a vital doctrine, a crude notion of their own, 
for which they could find no suppoi't in any of those writings ; 
a very prudent direction in a time of great ecclesiastical ignorance, 
and an especial safeguard against " Popish errors" — such, for 
instance, as that Patristical Tradition is a divine informant. But 
there is a vast difference between a reference to the writings of 
the Fathers for such a purpose, and a proposal of their testi- 
mony as of intrinsic authority binding upon all Christians. 

Xay, that it was not a recognition of the impossibility of error 
being maintained by what might appear very general consent 
among them, is evident from the fact, that even the Creeds are re- 
ceived by our Church on the sole ground of their being provable 
by Scripture, as we shall observe presently. She does not take 
even the Creeds on their authority, but because she believes them 
to be agreeable to Scripture ; their suffrage, no doubt, being a 
strong additional motive for supposing such to be the sense of 
Scripture. She was conscious, that in speaking of the " Catholic 
Fathers" she was exercising the right of private judgment in 
determining, among the writers of the Primitive Church, which 
were on the side of truth ; and therefore did not make even 
their consent a final court of appeal. And I add this, because 
it might be said, If it is impossible, that all the Catholic Fathers 
should have erred, and consequently that what is opposed to or 
unsupported by their writings in a vital point, must necessarily 
be erroneous ; then it follows, that what is supported by all 
of them in such a point, must be infallibly true. Now, however 
probable this may be, it is no part of the foundation upon which 
our Church has built her faith. Her creed stands on better 

True it is, that even if this position was granted, our oppo- 
nents would gain nothing practically by it ; because such a con- 
sent of even the Catholic Fathers whose writings happen to re- 
main to us, cannot be proved, so as to enable us to turn it to any 
useful purpose. But even this is not maintained hy our Church ; 
nor is it a point which she is at all concerned to decide. She 


does not put forward the Catholic Fathers as necessarily inerra- 
ble as a body ; but believing them to have been generally orthodox, 
(taking the Scriptures as her standard of judgment,) she, in the 
canon under consideration, proposed them to her clergy as such, 
and directed their writings to be used as a useful practical check 
upon error. And the positive use of their writings was main- 
tained to this extent, viz. that some support must be found in 
them for every position affecting a vital point. 

That this was her meaning, appears also from her having, in 
the subsequent part of the canon, put her own Articles on the 
same footing. For it will not be contended, that she put forth 
these as part of the Kule of faith. No ; in both cases she 
merely bears witness to what she believes to be the orthodox 
doctrine, and gives directions to her clergy, suited to keep them 
9 ithin the limits cf that doctrine. 

Nay, further, this very canon is, as far as its authority goes, 
utterly subversive of the views of Dr. Pusey and his party. 
For their doctrine is, that our authoritative guide for the inter- 
pretation of Scripture, and some important points of doctrine, is 
the tradition of the oral teaching of the Apostles, preserved to us 
in the writings of the Fathers ; whereas this canon ordains, that 
nothing is to be advanced to be religiously believed, " but what 
" is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and 
" collected out of that very doctrine by the Catholic Fathers ;" 
clearly showing, that our Reformers held, that the Fathers col- 
lected their doctrine out of Scripture, and not (as our opponents 
affirm) from the successional delivery of the oral teaching of 
the Apostles. And all is forbidden by this canon, but what is 
agreeable to Scripture, and collected by the Fathers out of 
Scripture. Very good advice for Dr. Pusey and his party at 
least, and I hope they will obey the injunction ; and thus save 
us the infliction (as this canon was intended to do) of divers 
" vain opinions and Popish errors." 

And we may observe, by the way, how completely this canon 
overthrows the statement of Dr. Pusey in his Letter to the 
Bishop of Oxford, (p. 28,) that " it is probable that our Church 
" means, that things may be required to be believed, (provided it 
M be not upon peril of salvation,) which arc not proved by Holy 


" Scripture ; but certain, that, according to her, things not in 
" Holy Scripture, may be subjects of belief;" and yet with 
strange inconsistency this very canon is urged upon us three 
pages after for our observance. 

Moreover, it is to be remarked, that in the authorized Canons 
of 1597 and 1603, there is no direction of the kind, nor is there 
any recognition of the rule we have been considering in the 
Royal Injunctions or Episcopal Visitation Inquiries of the time, 
but on the contrary, (as we shall see presently,) only whether 
" any have wilfully maintained and defended any heresies, errors, 
" or false opinions, contrary to the faith of Christ and holy 
" Scripture." l 

And where a rule on the same subject is given in the Canons 
of 1G03, respecting strangers preaching in cathedrals, it is given 
thus ; — " If any in his sermon shall publish any doctrine, either 
" strange or disagreeing from the word of God, or from any of 
" the Articles of Religion agreed upon in the Convocation-house, 
" a. 1562, or from the Book of Common Prayer, the Dean or the 
" residents shall .... give notice of the same to the Bishop," &c. 
(Canon 51.) 

As to the Canon of 1603, quoted in the " Catena," it is diffi- 
cult to conceive, what support Mr. Keble can suppose his cause 
to receive from it The object of the Canon is to explain the 
lawful use of the cross in baptism. And the explanation given 
is this, that notwithstanding the sign of the cross had been 
abused by the Romanists, yet that " the Church of England hath 
" retained still the sign of it in baptism, following therein the 
" Primitive and Apostolical Churches, and accounting it a law- 
" ful outward ceremony and honorable badge, whereby the in- 
" fant is dedicated to the service of him that died upon the 
" cross." Therefore the Church of England (that I may not 
omit to refer to passages which Mr. K. might think favorable 
to him), following " the rules of the Scriptures and the practice 
of the Primitive Church," and " with reverence retaining those 
" ceremonies, which do neither endamage the Church of God, 
" nor offend the minds of sober men," retains the use of the sign 
of the cross in baptism as a lawful ceremony. Well, what is the 

1 Vis. Art. 1. Eliz. See Concilia Magn. Brit. &c. cd. Wilkius. iv. 190. 


conclusion we are to draw from this ? Has this the slightest ten- 
dency to support the system in aid of which it is quoted ? On 
the contrary, is it not merely throwing dust in the eyes of the 
inexperienced reader to quote such a passage in support of it ? 
Our Church follows the example of the Primitive Church in re- 
taining the sign of the cx*oss in baptism, as she does in many 
similar matters (see Canons 31, 3.2, 33, 60, 74) j but so far from 
regarding that example as authoritative, she distinctly declares 
in her 34th Article, that " it is not necessaiy that traditions and 
" ceremonies be in all places one or utterly like, for at all times 
" they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the 
" diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that 
" nothing be ordained against God's word," and " every parti- 
" cular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and 
" abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by 
" man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying." l 

There are two other testimonies, however, quoted by Mr. 
Keble, which it may be as well to notice here, though they are 
not, strictly speaking, testimonies of the Church, namely, the 
extract from the rules given to the Bishops by the Queen's 
Council in 1582, for conducting the controversy with the Papists, 
and that from the Report of the Commissioners of 1662. 

In the former it is directed, that " if the Papists shall show 
" any ground of Scripture, and ivrest it to their sense, let it be 
" showed by the interpretation of the old doctors such as were 
" before Gregory I. But if they can show no doctor that agreed 
" with them in their said opinion before that time, then to con- 
" elude, that they have no succession in that doctrine from the 
" time of the Apostles, and above four hundred years after, 
" when doctrine and religion were most pure, for that they can 
" show no predecessor whom they might succeed in the same." 
Now this is precisely the same negative position as that main- 
tained in the Canon of 1571. Does Mr. Keble suppose, 
that there is any Protestant who professes to hold an article of 
faith unknown to the whole Christian Church for the first six 
centuries ? For in that case only the extract would be relevant. 

1 See further remarks in the testimony of Jewel below, and Hookee, Eccl. 
Pol. iii. 10. 


All that it proves is the belief of the Council, that the Romish 
doctrines censured as unscriptural, were unknown to the whole 
Christian Church for the first six centuries ; and that if this 
could be shown, it was sufficient proof that the censure was 
just ; and as an argumentum ad hominem against the Papists, who 
professed to follow the Fathers, irresistible. But though the 
absence of cei'tain testimony in favor of a doctrine judged un- 
scriptural may be held sufficient to condemn it, it is very far 
from following that such testimony when in its favor is an 
authoritative witness, obliging us to receive it as scriptural. 
The negative position maintained in the direction given in the 
extract would not, I suppose, be called in question in the abstract 
by any one professing the Christian faith, except possibly by 
some unusually extravagant Romanists. We willingly grant, 
therefore, that a doctrine, respecting which the testimony of 
Scripture is even doubtful, which can find no support in the 
Patristical writings of the first six centuries, (considering the 
wide range taken by those that remain to us,) has no claim upon 
us as vital, and is open to just suspicion ; while at the same time 
we maintain, that the support which any doctrine does appear 
to us to receive in those writings, is not any part of the ground 
upon which our faith should rest in the reception of it. Our 
faith should rest solely and entirely upon the (as it appears to 
us) evident revelation of it in the Scriptures. 

The other extract, which is from the Reply of the Commis- 
sioners of 1662 to the Presbyterians (§ 16), is given as follows, 
— " Ancient Liturgies in the Church, St. Chrysostom's, St. 
" Basil's, St. James's, and others, and such things as are found 
" in them all, consistent with Catholic and primitive docti-ine, 
" may well be presumed to have been from the first, especially 
" since we find no original of these Liturgies from General 
" Councils." To the form in which this extract has been given 
I must beg to call the attention of the reader. The passage 
referred to stands in the original thus ; — " That there were an- 
" cient Liturgies in the Church is evident. St. Chrysostom's, 
" St. Basil's and others, and the Greeks tell us of St. James's, 
" much elder than they ; and though we find not in all ages 
" whole Liturgies, yet it is certain that there were such in the 


" oldest times, by those parts which are extant, as Sursum 
" Corda, &c, Gloria Patri, &c, Benedicite, Hynmus Cheru- 
" binus, $zc, Vere dignum et justum, &c, Dominus vobiscum, 
" Et cum Spiritu tuo, with divers others. TJiough those that 
" are extant may be interpolated, yet such things as are found in 
" them all consentient [in another edition consistent] to catholic 
" and primitive doctrine, may well be presumed to have been 
" from the first, especially since we find no original of these 
" Liturgies from General Councils." The way in which this 
passage has been altered is not a little remarkable. The ori- 
ginal says nothing, it will be observed, in favor of the authority 
of our copies of the Liturgies of St. Chrysostom, &c. but rather 
the contrary, while the professed extract speaks of them as ge- 
nuine. However, to let that pass, what can either prove as to our 
present subject? It is asserted, that such liturgical forms as 
are found in all the antient Liturgies consentient to catholic and 
primitive doctrine may well be presumed to have been from the 
first. "Well ; this is a very good argument in favor of Liturgies, 
in support of which it was advanced, but does it prove anything 
in favor of the Tractators' system ? Will Mr. Keble reply, 
These prayers are authoritative proofs of doctrine, if they have 
" been from the first?" Nay, but the test here proposed of 
their having been from the first is their being " consentient to 
catholic and primitive doctrine." So that this passage will not 
help him to advance one step in gaining an authoritative tradi- 
tion. And here we see how much the alteration of the passage 
favors Mr. Keble's views, for the admission in the original, that 
these liturgies may be interpolated, renders it necessary to 
adopt this test, which according to Mr. Keble' s version of the 
passage would not be necessary. I do not charge him with the 
alteration. Far from it. I believe him incapable of so acting. 
But I suppose he found the passage quoted somewhere as he 
has given it, and did not verify it. 

Having considered the extracts brought forward by Mr. Keble 
in support of his system, I now proceed to point out those pas- 
sages from which the views of our Church respecting it may, I 
hope, be without difficulty gathered. 

The dogmatical works of authority in our Church are, first, 


those which have received the highest degree of authority, 
namely, the Articles, 1 Homilies, and Catechism, and, secondly, 
those which have received the Ecclesiastical and Royal sanction, 
but not that of the whole Legislature, namely, Jewel's Apology 
and Nowell's Catechism. 2 The testimonies given in the note 

1 Among the " Requests and Petitions of the Lower House of Convocation for 
discipline," in the Convocation of 1562, at which our present Articles were settled, 
the second is, — "That certain Articles, containing the principal grounds of the 
" Christian religion, he set forth, as well to deter mine the truth of things this day 
" in controversy, as also to show what errors are chiefly to he eschewed." (Wilk. 
Cone. iv. 240.) These Articles, therefore, heing published in compliance with 
this request, may reasonably be considered as intended to take a wider scope than 
some would have us suppose ; and this indeed we might infer from their title, 
" Articles. ... for the avoiding of diversities of opinions and for the establishing 
of consent touching time religion." 

2 Bishop Jewel's " Apology" is recognised in Canon 30 of the Canons of 1603 
as " the Apology of the Church of England," and is quoted by Hooker (Eccl. 
Pol. ii. 6.) under the name of " The English Apology." Collier states, that it 
" was approved by the Queen and set forth with the consent of the Bishops." 
(Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 479.) And Bishop Jewel himself, in Ids Reply to Harding, 
says, that he had the concurrence of the whole English clergy, and that the book 
had the Queen's licence. It was first published in 1562, the very same year as 
our present Articles, and " by Queen Elizabeth, King James, King Charles, and 
four successive Archbishops, the Apology was ordered to be read and chained up 
in all Parish Churches throughout England aud Wales." (Watt, sub nom. Jewel.) 
And of this work and Nowell's Catechism, Bishop Randolph thus speaks in the 
Preface to his " Enchiridion:"- — "My choice has been principally directed to 
such works as had the sanction of public authority, and which may, therefore, be 
relied on as containing the final and decided opinions of our Reformers, approved 
of in the general by the Church at large .... Of this kind, that is, thus publicly 
received, were Jewel's Apology and Nowell's Catechism, the former of which is 
said to have been published with the consent of the bishops, and was always under- 
stood to speak the sense of the whole Church, in whose name it is written ; the 
latter had the express sanction of Convocation. ... Both these works were pub- 
licly received and allowed." 

Nowell's Catechism was first published in 1570 (an abridgment, called his 
Middle Catechism, appearing also in the same year) after having passed through 
various hands for their suggestions; as may be seen in the summary account 
given of its history by Dr. Jacobson in the preface to his edition of the work 
(Oxon. 1835.); and received the express sanction of one of the Canons of 1571, 
which orders, — " Ludimagistri nullam docebunt Graminaticam, nisi earn quam 
solam Regis Majestas per omne regnum in omnibus scholis legi mandavit ; nee 
aliv.m Latinum Catechism inn quam qui editv.s est anno 1570, quern etiam 
Anglice redditum, pueros, qui Latine nesciunt, docere volunuis." 

Tbe 79th Canon of 1604 also orders, that "all schoolmastere shall teach in 
English or Latin, as the children are able to bear, the larger or shorter Catechism 
heretofore bj public authority set forth." Aud there can be no doubt, a.- both 


below abundantly prove, that these two latter works are of no 
inconsiderable authority as faithful representations of the doc- 
trine of our Church. The indirect sources from which the doc- 
trine of our Church is to be gathered are, first, our authorized 
Liturgical Forms and Ecclesiastical Laws/ and, secondly, in 

Archdeacon Ckurton in his Life of Xowell (p. 191) and Dr. Jacobson (loc. cit.) 
observe, that the books here intended are those of Xowell. 

And finally (not to multiply authorities unnecessarily, of which more may be 
found in Dr. Jacobson's Preface), both Xowell's Catechism and Jewel's Apology 
are thus enjoined by a Statute of the University of Oxford in 157S: — " 1. Ad 
extirpandam haeresim quamcunque et ad informandam in vera pietate juven- 
tutem, libros hosce legendos censemus et statuhnus, viz. Catechismum Ale. 
Novetti Majorem Latine et Graece, vel Catechismum Johannis Calvini Latine 
Greece et Ebraice, vel Elementa Christiana? Religionis Andrea? Hyperii, vel Catc- 
chesin Heydelburgensem pro captu audit orum et arbitrio legentium. 2. His 
adjungi possuntHenrici Bullingeri Catechesis pro adultis, et Institutiones Calvini, 
vel Apologia Ecclesice Anglicana, vel Articuh Eehgionis in Synodo Londinensi 
conscripti et authoritate Regia editi cum explicatione locorum communium testi- 
moniis a Sacra Scriptura aut interdum e Patribus desumptis. Ad primam lecti- 
onem junior es, ad secundam provectiores omnes nullo gradu insignitos astringi 
volumus. 3. CatechLsmos omnes, sana? huic doctrina? contrarios aliosque libros 
superstitiosos et Papisticos legi et haberi interdieiinus." (Ant. a "Wood, Hist, et 
Antiq. Univ. Oxon. vol. i. p. 296. ed. 1674.) 

1 The ecclesiastical laws may conveniently be classed under two divisions, first, 
those wliich were made previous to the Reformation ; and secondly, those which 
have been made since. 

First, those which were made previous to the Reformation. 

These consist partly of the Canons made in national and provincial Councils of 
our own Church, and partly of the laws adopted from the Civil and Common 
Canon Law, both of which were, to a considerable extent, received here in the 
Ecclesiastical Courts, though neither of them, as a whole, or as having any 
autfivrity here of themselves, not even the Canon Law ; and lastly of Acts of Par- 
liament, and customs, or Common Law relating to ecclesiastical matters. (See 
Dr. R. Cosix's Prim. Lin. Polit. Eccl. Angl.; Gibson's Codex, (Introdn.) Black- 
stoxe and Bun>\) Those adopted from the Civil and Common Canon Law, were 
either introduced by consent, and thus became, in time, by usage, the Common 
Law of the land, or by authority of Parliament. " All the strength,'' says 
Blackstone, "that either the Papal or Imperial laws have obtained in this realm 
— or, indeed, in any other kingdom in Europe — is only because they have been 
admitted and received by immemorial usage and custom in some particular cases, 
and some particular courts, and there they form a branch of theleges non scripts, 
or customary laws ; or else because they are in some other cases introduced by 
consent of Parliament; and then they owe their validity to the leges scripts, or 
Statute Law. This is expressly declared in those remarkable words of the Statute 
25 Hen. viii. c. 21, addressed to the King's Royal Majesty, 'This your Grace's 
realm, recognising no superior under (rod, bat only your Grace, hath been, and is, 
free from subjection to any man's law-, hvt only to tuck :i- have been devised, 


an inferior degree, the code of laws drawn up by Archbishop 
Cranmer and a few others in the time of Edward VI., (the 
value of which is, of course, very considerable,) 1 Convo- 

made, and obtained within this realm, for the wealth of the same; or to such other, 
as by sufferance of your Grace and your progenitors, the people of this your realm 
have taken at their free liberty, by their own consent, to be used among them ; 
and have bound themselves, by long use and custom, to the observance of the same, 
not as to the observance of the laws of any foreign Prince, Potentate, or Prelate, 
but as to the customed and antient laws of this realm, originally established as 
laws of the same, by the said sufferance, consents, and custom ; and none other- 
wise.' " (Blackst. i. 79, 80.) 

As it respects the ecclesiastical canons made in this country, it is provided, in 
the Act intituled, " The Submission of the Clergy, and Restraint of Appeals," (25 
Hen. viii. c. 19.), — " That such canons, constitutions, ordinances, and synodals pro- 
vincial, being already made, which be not contrariant nor repugnant to the laws, 
statutes, and customs of this realm, nor to the damage or hurt of the King's Pre- 
rogative Royal, shall now still be used and executed, as they were afore the 
making of this Act, till such time as they be viewed, searched, or otherwise 
ordered and determined by the said two-and-thirty persons, or the more part of 
them, according to the tenor, form, and effect of this present Act." (Gibson's 
Codex ii. 947.) And as the revision here contemplated never took effect, all such of 
these canons as are " not contrariant nor repugnant to the laws, statutes, and cus- 
toms of this realm, nor to the damage or hurt of the King's Prerogative Royal," 
are still in force. On this enactment, Bishop Gibson observes, " The clause of 
the last-mentioned Act [quoted above] was a recognition of the authority of the 
foreign Canon Law in this nation, upon the foot of usage and custom [i. e. as far 
as it has been adopted] ; to which tins clause adds a Parliamentary authority or 
enaction to all our own canons and constitutions, which are not repugnant to the 
laws, statutes, and customs of this realm, nor to the damage or hurt of the King's 
Prerogative Royal." (Gibson's Codex ii. 947.) 

In matters of doctrine, however, the Canons in force here previous to the Re- 
formation, may be said to be, for the most part, practically superseded, and many 
of them, of course, contradicted, by the Articles, homihes, and other recognised 
formularies of our Reformed Church. And, in all cases, they are of authority 
only when not disagreeing with them. 

Secondly, those which have been made since the Reformation. These consist 
of Acts of Parliament and the Canons of 1603, which, however, not having been 
confirmed by Parliament, do not bind the laity. The Canons of 1640 are of no 
force; for, although they received the confirmation of the King, yet, as Bishop 
Stilhngfleet says, " After the King's restoration, an act of Parliament passed 
(13 Car. ii. c. 12.) for restoring the bishop's ordinary jurisdiction, wherein a 
clause is added, that this act did not confirm those Canons of 164-0, but left the 
ecclesiastical laws as they stood 1639 ; which Act being passed by the King's 
assent, it voids the former confirmation of them, and so leaves them without 
fcrce." (Stillingfleet's EccL Cases, p. 25S. ed. 1702.) 

1 This Code was first published in 1571, by John Fox. under the title, " Refor- 
matio legum ecclesiasticaram, ex anthoritate primam regis Henrici viii. inchoata; 
Delude per regem Edovardum vi. provecta adauctaque in hunc inodum, at (pie 
nunc ad pleniorem ipsarum reformationem in lncem edita." It w;is commenced 


cation Canons, Royal Injunctions and Episcopal Visitation 

By these documents, let us test the views advanced by the 
Tractators on the subject now under consideration. 

in the reign of Henry VIII. (as this title witnesses), in the latter end of 
which an Act of Parliament was passed, empowering the king to appoint a 
commission of thirty-two persons to revise the ecclesiastical laws. And 
in the 3d and 4th Edw. VI. a similar Act was passed, and the commissioners 
appointed, consisting of eight bishops, eight divines, eight civilians, and eight 
common lawyers, having, of course, Archbishop Cranmer at their head, tbe names 
of whom may be seen in Collier, Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. Records, Xo. 61. From these 
a sub-committee of eight, consisting of Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Goodrich, 
Dr. Cox, Peter Martyr, &c. were appointed by the king to prepare the work. 
Whether the work, as it now stands, received the sanction of the body of the 
Commissioners, or even of those eight, is doubtful. Indeed, with the exception of 
Archbishop Ci*anmer, it is doubtful who were its authors. For in the " Oratio 
D. Josia? Simleri de vita et obitu P. M-irtyris," it is said, " Posteaquam a rege 
cura conscribendi leges ecclesiasticas primum xxxii. deinde xvi [? viii.] viris com- 
missa fuit, effecit Cant. Archiepiscopus ut P. Martyr in horuin numero unus esset : 
ac tandem etiam cum munus hoc universum uni Cantuariensi a rege fuisset com- 
missum, tribus tantum ad id desumptis sociis, Gualtero Haddono et Rolando 
Taylero J. C. terthun voluit esse Martyrern. Horum opera adjutus eas leges 
Ecclesiaj Anglicanae pra;scripsit qua? magnam etiam nunc laudem habent apud 
omnes pios et doctos." (1583. 4to. p. 16.) And this account is somewhat con- 
firmed by a note in Archbishop Cranmer's handwriting, in a copy of the work in 
MS. mentioned by Strype in his Memorials of Cranmer, at the chapter " De 
Decimis," as follows : — " This is fynished by us, but must be overseen again by 
Dr. Haddon." For Dr. Haddon was not one of the thirty -two commissioners. 
And so Strype says, — "The matter was in effect wholly intrusted by the king 
[i. e. Edw. VI.] to the Archbishop [i. e. I suppose upon his finding the rest of the 
commissioners inactive in the matter,] who associated to himself, in the active 
part of this work, Taylor, Martyr, and Haddon j" the part of Haddon being to 
peruse what the others had drawn up, in order " if anything was less elegantly 
expressed to correct it," but " his corrections are very few, and but of words les i 
proper ; the work and words were mainly Cranmer's own." The MS. copy, men- 
tioned above, was seen by Strype among Fox's MSS., and is "fairly written out 
by the Archbishop's secretary, with the title to each chapter prefixed, and the 
index of the chapters at the beginning, both of the Archbishop's own hand. In 
many places there be his own corrections and additions." (Stetpe's Mem. of 
Cranmer, lib. i.e. 30.) This copy is now in the Harleian Collection of MSS. in 
the British Museum; atid as Dr. Cardwell observes, "represents the mind of the 
Archbishop and probably therefore of the Sovereign respecting such matters as 
are contained in it at the close of King Edward's reign." But it must be 
observed, that the work as printed in 1571, apparently from a copy belonging to 
Abp. Parker, has eight sections more than arc contained in this MS. ; and is con- 
sidered by Dr. Cardwell as " containing the whole code as revised and approved by 
Abp, Parker." (Cardwell's Pref. to his cd. of the Rcf. Leg. Oxf. 1850, p.x.) It is 
a work which has always been considered of great value, and is largely quoted by 


First, as to Patristical Tradition being an unwritten word of 
God or divine informant in religion. 

In the first place, we may fairly ask our opponents to point 
out some passage in our authorized ecclesiastical books, that 
gives some positive sanction to such a notion. So important a 
doctrine as this could not have been overlooked. Surely we 
should have been exhorted by our Church, had she entertained 
such a notion, to have availed ourselves of this " divine infor- 
mant." We have a whole homily on the duty of reading the 
Scriptures. Where is the corresponding exhortation to avail 
ourselves of this other "word of God V* Nowhere. On the 
contrary, the only word of God recognised by our Church in 
any of her documents is the Scripture. Wherever the phrase 
occurs in any of her authorized documents, it is invariably iden- 
tified with the Scripture. And the only notices of " Tradition" 
in our Articles and homilies are the following; viz. one in the 
34th Article, entitled, " Of the traditions of the Church/' where 
they are identified with the ceremonial rites of the Church, and 
it is said of them, " It is not necessary that traditions and cere- 
monies be in all places one and utterly like :" and the other, 
in the first homily, where we are warned, " Let us diligently 
" search for the well of life in the books of the New and Old 
" Testament, and not run to the stinking paddles of men's tradi- 
" tions, devised by men's imagination, for our justification and 
" salvation. For, in holy Scripture is fully contained what we 
" ought to do, and what to eschew, what to believe, what to love. 
" and what to look for at God's hands at length' 1 

Nay, more, we are expressly told in Dean Nowell's Catechism, 
that " the Christian religion is to be learnt from no other source 

Bishop Gibson in his " Codex Juris Eccl. Anglicani," with the observation, " To 
facilitate the improvement of this constitution by suggesting such useful rules of 

order and discipline as have been established abroad or attempted at home 

many of the passages out of the body of ecclesiastical laws, entitled Reformatio 
legum, &c. are grafted into this commentary, as candidates for a place in our con- 
stitution, in case the Convocation shall think them deserving, or, at least, as not 
unworthy the consideration of that learned and venerable assembly." (Pref 
p. xiii.) And Collier (who thinks it " most probable" that it " had passed the 
approbation" of all the commissioners, "considering it appears in so finished a 
condition,") says, " it appears to have been drawn up with no small share of 
judgment and learning." (Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 326.) 


" than from the heavenly word of God himself, ivhich he hath 
** delivered to us in the holy Scriptures ;" and in Jewel's Apology, 
that the Scriptures are " the very sure and infallible rule whereby 
" may be tried whether the Church do swerve or err, and where- 
" unto all ecclesiastical doctrine ought to be called to account." 

But, to dwell upon this point is needless, for the testimonies 
relating to those that follow amply prove the views of our Church 
upon this. 

Let us proceed to the second and third points, viz. that Catholic 
Consent is a part of the divine Rule of faith and practice even 
in the fundamental articles, as the authoritative interpreter of 
Scripture, and as giving the full development of truths there 
but imperfectly developed, and as conveying to us various im- 
portant points of divine origin not at all contained in Scripture. 

First, as the interpreter of Scripture, and our authoritative 
teacher in the fundamentals of religion. 

Now, our Church tells us, (Art. 6.) " Holy Scripture con- 
" taineth all things necessary to salvation ; so that whatsoever is 
" not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be 
" required of any man that it should be believed as an article of 
" the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." 
But if Catholic Consent is the authoritative interpreter of Scrip- 
ture, the doctrine so delivered to us as from Scripture is to be 
received as true on that authority. If, on the contrary, the 
reception of a doctrine is to depend (according to the Article) on 
the strength of the pi'oof from Scripture, the authority of the 
traditional interpretation is yielded. The Article is but calcu- 
lated to mislead, if a necessary part of the proof of the truth cf 
a doctrine to us is, that Catholic Consent has so interpreted 

Our opponents endeavour to get over this difficulty by saying, 
that the Article relates only to teachers, not to the people at 
large. But this plea will avail them nothing. All that we 
contend for is, that full and sufficient proof exists in Scripture 
for the orthodox faith, and that men are to be called upon to 
believe it only as far as it is so proved. And if this is true as it 
respects the teacher, (which would follow from our opponents' 

VOL. III. z 


own interpretation of the Article,) it is surely equally true as it 
respects the hearer. If the only fit ground of faith to the teacher 
is holy Scripture, then is that same Scripture the only fit ground 
of faith to the people, unless the teacher is personally infallible, 
which I suppose even the Tractators will hardly venture to 

Further ; what says the first homily, entitled, " a fruitful 
(C exhortation to the reading and knowledge of holy Scripture?" 
" Unto a Christian man there can be nothing either more neces- 
" sary or profitable than the knowledge of holy Scripture, 
" forasmuch as in it is contained God's true word, setting forth 
" his glory, and also man's duty. And there is no truth nor 
" doctrine necessary for our justification and everlasting salva- 
" tion, but that is or may be drawn out of that fountain and 
" well of truth. Therefore, as many as he desirous to enter into 
" the right and perfect way unto God, must apply their minds to 
" know holy Scripture ; without the which they can neither 
" sufficiently know God and his will, neither their office and 
" duty. And as drink is pleasant to them that be dry, and 
" meat to them that be hungry, so is the reading, hearing, search- 
" ing, and studying of holy Scripture, to them that be desirous 
" to know God or themselves, and to do his will." " Let us 
" diligently search for the well of life in the books of the New 
" and Old Testament, and not run to the stinking puddles of 
" men's traditions, devised by men's imagination, for our justi- 
" fication and salvation. For, in holy Scripture is fully con- 
" tained what we ought to do, and what to eschew, what to 
" believe, what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at 
" length." " These books, therefore, ought to be much in our 
" hands, in our eyes, in our ears, in our mouths, but most of 
" all in our hearts. For the Scripture of God is the heavenly 
ie meat of our souls, the hearing and keeping of it maketh us 
" blessed, sanctifieth us, and maketh us holy ; it turneth our 
" souls, it is a light lantern to our feet. It is a sure, stedfast, 
" and everlasting instrument of salvation ; it giveth wisdom to the 

" humble and lowly hearts The words of holy Scripture 

" be called words of everlasting life, for they be God's instru- 
" ment ordained for the same purpose. They have poiver to 


" turn, through God's promise, and they be effectual through 
" God's assistance." " That man is ashamed to be called a 
" philosopher, which readeth not the books of philosophy ; and 
' ' to be called a lawyer, an astronomer, or a physician, that is 
" ignorant in the works of law, astronomy, and physic. How 
" can any man then say, that he professeth Christ and his reli- 
" gion, if he will not apply himself (as far forth as he can or 
" may conveniently) to read and hear, and so to know the books 
" of Christ's Gospel and doctrine" " Let us, therefore, apply 
" ourselves, as far forth as we can have time and leisure, to know 
" God's word, by diligent hearing and reading thereof, as many 
" as profess God, and have faith and trust in him." " If you 
" be afraid to fall into error by reading of holy Scripture, I 
" shall show you how you may read without danger of error. 
" Read it humbly, with a meek and a lowly heart, to the intent 
" you may glorify God, and not yourself, with the knowledge of 
" it ; and read it not without daily praying to God that he 
" would direct your reading to good effect, and take upon you 
" to expound it no further than you can plainly understand it. 
" For as St. Augustine saith, the knowledge of holy Scripture 
" is a great, large, and a high place, but the door is very low, 
" so that the high and ai'rogant man cannot run in, but he must 
" stoop low, and humble himself, that shall enter into it. Pre- 
" sumption and arrogancy are the mother of all error, and 
" humility needeth to fear no error. For humility will only 
" search to know the truth; it will search and will bring 
" together one place with another, and where it cannot find out 
" the meaning, it will pray, it will ask of others that know, and 
" will not presumptuously and rashly define anything which it 
" knoweth not. Therefore, the humble man may search any 
" truth boldly in the Scripture, without any danger of error. 
" And if he be ignorant, he ought the more to read and to 
" search holy Scripture to bring him out of ignorance." " If 
" we read once, twice, or thrice, and understand not, let us not 
" cease so, but still continue reading, praying, asking of others. 
" and so, by still knocking, at the last the door shall be opened, 
" as St. Augustine saith." " Thus we have briefly touched 

z 2 


" some part of the commodities of God's holy word, which is 
" one of God's chief and principal benefits, given and declared 

" to mankind here on earth let us hear, read, and know 

" these holy rules, injunctions, and statutes of our Christian 

" religion let us pray to God (the only author of these 

" heavenly studies) that we may speak, think, believe, live, and 
" depart hence according to the wholesome doctrine and verities 
" of them." 

Throughout the whole homily, not the most remote hint is 
given that we are even to consult Catholic Consent. Among all 
the directions given for attaining the understanding of Scrip- 
ture, not one word points to Church-Tradition. And yet, say 
our opponents, Church-Tradition is the authoritative interpreter 
of Scripture, and is so held to be by the Church of England ! 

And in the third part of the Homily for Rogation week, we 
have another very remarkable testimony on this subject. " No- 
" where," saith the homily, " can we more certainly search for the 

" knowledge of this will of God but in the holy Scrip- 

" tures, for they be they that testify of him, saith our Saviour 

" Christ We see what vanity the school doctrine is 

" mixed with, for that in this word they sought not the will 
" of God, but l-ather the will of reason, the trade of custom, 
" THE PATH OF THE FATHERS, the practice of the 
" Church. Let us, therefore, read and revolve the holy Scrip- 
" ture both day and night," &:c. 

Remarkable, also, is the testimony of our Ordination Services 
in this matter. 

In the Exhortation to priests at their Ordination, it is said, — 
" Seeing that you cannot by any other means compass the doing 
" of so weighty a work, pertaining to the salvation of man, but 
" with doctrine and exhortation taken out of the holy Scriptures, 
" and with a life agreeable to the same • consider how studious 
" ye ought to be in reading and learning the Scriptures, and in 
" framing the manners both of yourselves and of them that 
" specially pertain unto you, according to the rule of the same 
" Scriptures." 

And they are asked this question, — 


" Are you persuaded, that the holy Scriptures contain suffi- 
" ciently all doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation 
" through faith in Jesus Christ ? And are you determined, 
" out of the said Scriptures, to instruct the people committed to 
" your charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to 
" eternal salvation, but that which ijou shall be persuaded may 
" be coacluded and proved by the Scripture ? " 

Now, had the framers of this Service held the views of our 
opponents, it is impossible to suppose but that those views would 
have been here recognized. Nay, I would ask, how can those 
who hold such views conscientiously answer this question in the 
affirmative ? 

And the same question is repeated in the Service for the con- 
secration of bishops, and is followed by another equally worthy 
our notice. " "Will you, then," adds the Archbishop, " faith- 
" fully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call 
" upon God by prayer for the true understanding of the same ; so 
" as you may be able by them to teach and exhort with whole- 
" some doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsay ers?" 

Moreover, thus speaks the " Apology," according to the 
translation sanctioned by the author. 

" Thus did the holy Fathers alway fight against the heretics 
" with none other force than with the holy Scriptures. St. 
" Augustine, when he disputed against Petilian, the Donatian 
" heretic, ' Let not these words/ quoth he, ' be heard between 
" us, I say, or, You say ; let us rather speak in this wise, Thus 
" saith the Lord. There let us seek the Church, there let 
" us boult out the cause/ " (Jewel's Works, 1609. fol., Pt. 1 . 
" ch. 9. div. 1, 2.) " W r e . . . refer all our controversies unto 
" the holy Scriptures, and report us to the self-same words which 
" we know were sealed by God himself, and in comparison of them 
" set little by all other things, whatsoever may be devised by men." 
(Pt. 1. ch. 10. div. ] .) "We receive and embrace all the 
" canonical Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, 
" giving thanks to our God who hath raised up unto us that 
" light which we might ever have before our eyes, lest either 
" by the subtilty of man, or by the snares of the devil, we 


" should be carried away to errors and lies. Also we profess 
" that these be the heavenly voices whereby God hath opened 
" unto us his will, and that only in them man's heart can have 
" settled rest, that in them be abundantly and fully compre- 
" hended all things whatsoever be needful for our health, as Ori- 
" gen, Augustine, Chrysostome, and Cyrillus, have taught, 
" ' that they be the very might and strength of God to attain 
" to salvation/ ' that they be the foundations of the Prophets 
" and Apostles/ whereupon is built the Church of God ; that 
" they be the very sure and infallible rule whereby may be tried 


" count ; and that against these Scriptures neither law nor ordi- 
" nance, nor any custom, ought to be heard ; no, though Paul 
" himself, or an angel from heaven, should come and teach the 
" contrary." (Pt. 2. ch. 9. div. 1.) " We know well enough that 
" the same word which was opened by Christ and spread abroad 
" by the Apostles, is sufficient both to our salvation, and also to 
" uphold and maintain all truth, and to confound all manner of 
" heresy. By that word only we do condemn all sorts of the 

" old heretics As for the Arians .... and shortly all 

" them which have a wicked opinion either of God the Father, 
" or of Christ, or of the Holy Ghost, or of any other point of 
" Christian religion, for so much as they be confuted by the 
" gospel of Christ, we plainly pronounce them for detestable and 
" damned persons." (Pt. 3. ch. 1. div, 3.) " Finally, we in 
" God's cause desire to stand to God's only judgment." [referring 
to the Scriptures.] (Pt. 5. ch. 16. div. 7.) "King Agesilaus 
" did but fondly in this behalf, who when he had a determinate 
" answer made him of the opinion and will of mighty Jupiter, 
" would afterward bring the whole matter before Apollo, to 
" know whether he would allow thereof, as his father Jupiter 
" had done, or no. But yet should we do much more fondly, 
" when we hear God himself plainly speak to us in his most holy 
" Scriptures, and may understand by them his will and 
meaning, if we would afterward, as though this were of none 
" effect, bring our Lvhule cause to be tried by a Council, which 


" were nothing else but to ask whether men would allow as God 
" did, and whether men would confirm God's commandments by 
" their authority. Why, I beseech you, except a Council will 
" and command, shall not truth be truth, or God be God ? If 
" Christ had meant to do so from the beginning, as that he 
" would preach or teach nothing without the Bishop's consent, 
" but refer all his doctrine over to Annas and Caiaphas, where 
" should now have been the Christian faith ? or who at any 
11 time should have heard the gospel taught ? Peter verily, 
" whom the Pope hath oftener in his mouth, and more reve- 
" rently useth to speak of than he doth of Jesus Christ, did 
" boldly stand against the Holy Council, saying, f It is better 
" to obey God than men.' And after that Paul had once en- 
" tirely embraced the gospel, and had received it, ' not from 
" men, nor by man, but by the only will of God, he did not 
" take advice therein of flesh and blood/ nor brought his case 
" before his kinsmen and brethren, but went forthwith into 
" Arabia to preach God's divine mysteries by God's only autho- 
" rity." (Pt. 6. ch. 1. div. 2, 3.) 

" Howsoever it be, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ 
" dependeth not upon Councils, nor, as St. Paul saith, upon the 
" judgments of mortal creatures." (Pt. 6. ch. 18. div. 1.) " We 


* returned again unto the primitive Church of the antient Fathers 
" and Apostles, that is to say, to the ground and beginning 
" of things, unto the very foundations and headsprings of 
" Christ's Church." (Pt. 6. concl.) 

Such is the strong and clear testimony of " the Apology of 
the Church of England" on this matter. While it claims for 
our Church agreement with the Primitive Church and the or- 
thodox Fathers, it in the strongest terms insists upon Scripture 
being considered the sole and entire divine Rule of faith and 

From Nowell's Catechism we have already quoted a passage 
conclusive on the point. 1 

1 See pp. 336, 337 abuse. 


There is, however, one more testimony to which I would 
direct the reader's attention on this head, and that is a remark- 
ably clear disclaimer of the doctrine under consideration in the 
" Reformatio Legum Eccles." It occurs in Tit. 1, chap. 15, 
entitled, " What is the authority of the holy Fathers ? " and is 
as follows, — "Lastly, we consider that the authority of the 
" orthodox Fathers is by no means to be despised ; for they 
" have many excellent and useful observations. But that the 
" holy Scriptures should be interpreted by their deci- 
" sions we do not allow. For the holy Scriptures ought 
" to be to us both the rules and judges of all Christian 
" doctrine. Nay, moreover, the Fathers themselves refused to 
" be so honoured, frequently admonishing the reader, that he should 
" only admit their determinations and interpretations as far as he 
" should see that they were agreeable to the holy Scriptures. Let 
" them, therefore, have their due respect and authority, but let 
" it be one which yields, and is in subjection, to the determina- 
" tions, the truth, and authority of the sacred books/' 1 

A more pointed disclaimer of the doctrine maintained by our 
opponents could hardly be penned. 

Moreover, we have evidence that this principle was acted upon 
oy our Reformers. Thus, in the conference held at Westminster 
between the Romish and the Protestant party in the first year of 
Queen Elizabeth, after an harangue from Dr. Cole in behalf of 
the Romanists, it is said, " then the other part was licensed to 
" show their minds, which they did according to the first order, 
" exhibiting all that which they meant to propound in a book 
" written, which, after a prayer and invocation made most 
" humbly to Almighty God, for enduing of them with his Holy 
" Spirit, and a protestation also to stand to the doctrine of the 

1 " Orthodoxorum Patrum etiam autboritatein minime censeiuus esse contein- 
nendam. Sunt enim permulta ab illis pra>clare et utiliter dicta. Ut tamen ex 
eoram sententia de sacris Uteris judicetur, non admittimus. Debent enim sacrae 
liters nobis omnia Christianie doctrinse et regulse esse et judices. Quin et ipsi 
Patres tantum bonoris sibi deferri recusanmt, sa-jiius admonentes lectorem, ut 
tantisper suas admittat sententias et interpretationes, quoad cum sacris literis 
consentire eas animadvexterit. Maneat ergo illis sua autboritas et reverentia, sed 
quse sacrorum librorum sententise veritati atque authoritati cedat et subjiciatur." 
. c. 15. Cardwell's ed. Oxf. 1850.) 



" Catholic Church, builded upon the Scriptures and the 
" doctrine of the Prophets and the Apostles, was dis- 
" tinctly read/' &C. 1 

And so, in an address to the Convocation of 1572, by Arch- 
bishop Parker, we find that venerable prelate thus speaking ; — 
After alluding to those monuments of the antient British 
Church which remain to us, and which he says had been 
" partly destroyed by Antichrist," (ah Antichristo partim 
deleta,) he adds ; " But if divine Providence had not pre- 
" served to us those monuments, which ought to be so much 
" dearer to us as they are peculiarly our own, but had per- 
" mitted them to be utterly destroyed and taken away from the 
"memory of man, yet there remained the fountains themselves 
u of all divine knowledge, (totius divinse scientia?,) preserved by 
" the grace of the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew and Greek 
" language, to which, after the streams had been so long 
" polluted and perturbed, recurrence would be necessary to 
" have any certain knowledge of the divine will .... [and then, 
" having quoted the passages from Cyprian's Epistle to Pom- 
" peius, and Basil's or rather Gregory Xyssen's Letter to Eusta- 
" thius, given above, pp. 60 — 6.2, and 143, 144, he adds,] By the 
" authorities of these holy Fathers we are admonished, that as 
' f often as we shall have declined from the holy and immaculate 
" paths of the Lord, through human carelessness and blindness, 
" to return to them again, it is necessary that the holy Scriptures, 
" which bear witness on the point, be searched, and those most 
" antient testimonies be examined, from which, as Cyprian 
" witnesses, the spring and fountain head of our religion 
"arose. By firmly adhering to these testimonies of divine and 
" holy antiquity, we may be certain respecting the true worship of 
" God and religion, and be safe, although the monuments of 
" human things and ordinances, consumed by the rust of time, may 
" have perished. For, these eternal and inviolable fountains are 
" to be assiduously sought day and night ; and, by water flow- 
" ing and derived from these fountains, our wells, which our 
" enemies the Philistines have foully polluted, are to be purified, 
" that they may be filled from these fountains of salvation, 

1 Concil. Britann. ed. Wilkins. iv. 1.92. 


" whence we may draw eternal life. This subject supplies me 
u with large materials, if I were inclined to dwell upon it, to 
' ' set before you by what arts Antichrist x has cunningly deceived 
" us," &c. &c. 3 

Further ; there are in the Articles two particular instances in 
which the doctrine of our Church in this matter is very clearly 
shown. The first is in its language respecting the Creeds ; 
the second in its doctrine respecting the decisions of General 
Councils. What can have a better claim to be considered as 
the offspring of what is called Catholic Consent, and conse- 
quently to all the authority which can be hence derived, than 
the Apostolical and Nicene Creeds ? But does our Church 
receive them on the ground of any supposed authority ? 
Nothing of the kind. The Article distinctly says, " The three 
" Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius's Creed, and that which 
" is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be 
" received and believed ; for, they may be proved by most certain 
" warrants of holy Scripture." (Art. 8.) And so in the "Reform, 
leg. eccl." it is said, " We receive and embrace those three 
" Creeds, because they may easily be proved by the strongest 
" testimonies of the divine and canonical Scriptures." (ista tria 
Symbola .... recipimus et amplectimur, quod firmissimis divina- 
rum et canonicarum Scripturarum testimoniis facile probari 
possint.) (tit. i. c. 5.) And on this ground Bishop Pearson 
distinctly places our reception of the Apostles' Creed. 3 

The force of this argument ay ill, upon consideration, be found 

1 There was no hesitation then in applying this term to Eome. Thus, in reply 
to some objections to the use of the sacerdotal habit in 1564, the determination 
" subscribed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, by the Bishops of London, Win- 
chester, and Ely, by Dr. Robinson, chaplain to Parker, and afterwards Bishop of 
Bangor, by Bickley, another of the Archbishop's chaplains, afterwards Bishop of 
Chichester, and one Hill, and two other divines," is as follows, — " Ministri in 
Ecclesia Anglicana, in qua Dei beneficio pura Christi doctrina et fidei Evangelical 
pi'ffidicatiojam viget, quceque manifestam detestationem Antichristianismi pullice 
profitetur, sine impietate uti possunt vestium discrimine publica authoritate jam 
prajscripto, turn in adniinistratione sacra, turn in usu externo, modo oinnis cultus 
et necessitatis opinio amoveatur." See Collier's Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 498. And 
Bishop Patrick says, that the opinion that the Pope is Antichrist, is " the common 
opinion of all [Protestants], some few excepted;" and he proceeds to vindicate it. 
Answ. to Touchstone, pp. 86, et seq. 

: Condi. Britanii. ed. Wilkins. iv. 271. 

■• See his Exposition of it. 


peculiarly strong. For, there is no "tradition" of the early- 
Church so well authenticated, so likely to be a really Catholic 
tradition, as the Nicene Creed. If, then, our Church receives 
even this, only because she believes that its declarations may be 
proved by Scripture, a fortiori, she gives no better entertain- 
ment to any other " tradition." In a word, with Augustine, she 
repudiates altogether the notion of any intrinsic authority 
belonging to it. 

Again ; whence can we form a better judgment of the views 
of the Primitive Church, than from the decrees of the early 
General Councils ? But does our Church hold that those decrees 
are, in themselves and intrinsically, of authority, binding the 
consciences of men ? On the contrary, our Church expressly 
declares, — u General Councils may not be gathered together, 
" without the commandment and will of princes. And when 
" they be gathered together, forasmuch as they be an assembly 
" of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and word of 
" God, they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things 
"pertaining to God. Wherefore things ordained by them as neces- 
" sary to salvation, have neither strength nor authority, unless it 
" may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture" 
(Art. 21.) 

And hence the Act of 1 Elizabeth, c. ] . in which the decrees 
of the first four Councils were placed as limits to the High Com- 
mission Court for judging heresy, is thus cautiously worded, — 
It is provided by it, that nothing shall be considered heresy, 
but what has been adjudged to be so " by the authority of the 
" canonical Scriptures, or by [not, by the authority of,] the 
" first four General Councils," &c. 

So in the " Reformatio legum ecclesiasticarum," it is said, — 
" Moreover, although we willingly give great honor to Councils, 
" especially General Councils, yet we consider that they are all 
" of them to be placed far below the dignity of the canonical 
" Scriptures. And, moreover, we make a great difference 
" between the Councils themselves. For, some of them, such 
" as those four principal, the Nicene, the first of Constantinople, 
" the Ephesiue and the Chalcedonian, we embrace and accept 
" with great reverence. And we have the same opinion of 


" manv others which were afterwards held, in which we see 
" and confess that the most holy Fathers ordained many things 
" with great judgment and piety, agreeably to the divine Scriptures, 
" concerning the blessed and most high Trinity, concerning 
" Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and the redemption of 
" man procured by him. Nevertheless, ive consider that our 
" faith is no otherwise bound to them, than so far as they can 
" be confirmed from the holy Scriptures. (Quibus tamen non 
" aliter fidem nostram obligandam esse censemus, nisi quatenu3 
" ex Scripturis Sanctis confirmari possint.) For it is mani- 
" fest, that some Councils have sometimes erred, and decreed 
" contrary to each other ; partly in legal causes, partly also in 
" the faith. Therefore let the Councils be read with honor and 
" Christian respect, but meanwhile let them be examined by the holy, 
" certain, and right rule of the Scriptures (ad Scripturarum piam, 
" certain, rectamque regulam examinentur.)" (Tit. i. c. 14.) 

Hence both Bishop Burnet and Bishop Tomline repudiate the 
notion of our Church considering herself bound by the authority 
of the decrees of any Councils. " For the four General Councils/' 
says Bishop Burnet, " which this Church declares she receives, 
" they are received only because we are persuaded from the Scrip- 
" tares, that their decisions are made according to them : That the 

" Son is truly God, &c these truths we find in the Scrip- 

" tures ; and therefore we believe them. We reverence those 
" Councils for the sake of their doctrine; but do not believe 
" the doctrine for the authority of the Councils." (Expos. Art. 
21.) To the same effect, also, speaks Bishop Tomline. So, 
also, in the Treatise on the Authority of Councils, by Dr. Clagett 
and Mr. Hutchinson, inserted by Bishop Gibson in his " Pre- 
servative," it is said : — " Our Church has a reverent esteem for 
" the four first General Councils ; we embrace their confessions 
" of faith ; and whatsoever they defined to be heresy, we judge 
" to be so. If it be demanded why we approve of them, and not 
" of all the rest, we answer, Because their determinations in matters 
" of faith, are manifestly warranted by the holy Scriptures." * 

And that such is the doctrine of our Church, is made a charge 
against her by the Romanists. Thus speaks the able Roman 

1 Gibson's Preserv. vol. i. tit. iv. c 2. p. 141. 


Catholic writer, Abraham Woodhead, than whom no one was 
better versed in the writings of our divines ; " The Church of 
" England, indeed, professeth her assent to the definitions of 
" the first four General Councils .... but you may observe that 
" this assent is not yielded to those Councils because lawfully 
" general, and so presumed to be assisted by our Lord in the 
" right defining and delivery of all necessary faith .... but 
' { because the matter defined by them — the Church of England 
" being for herself judge hereof — ought to be assented to, as being 
" agreeable to the Scripture ; and the assent is not yielded for 
" the authority defining, as infallibly assisted in necessaries, but 
" for the appearing evidence in Scripture of the thing defined, 
" or at least for the non-appearing evidence of the contrary; the 
" assent not yielded, because that particular persons or Churches 
" are to take that for the true sense of Scripture which these 
11 Councils may possibly give of it, but because those Councils gave 
" in their definitions that sense of Scripture which such particular 
" persons or Churches judge the true ; so that the reason which 
" they give for their assent to these General Councils, obligeth 
" as much their assent to them, had they been Provincial .... 
" To this purpose, see the 21st Art. of the Church of England, 
" ' General Councils may err,' &c. See the Acts of Parliament 
" 1 Elizabeth, c. 1. [and then adding quotations from Dr. Fern, 
" Archbishop Laud, Dr. Field, Dr. Hammond, Mr. Chilling - 
" worth, Archbishop Potter, Dr. Whitby, and Bishop Stillingfleet, 
" he adds,] From these quotations, I think, it appears, that what- 
" ever fair professions are made, yet no assent is given by them 
" to the first four Councils on this account, that they could not 
" err in their definitions, nor yet because they are their sovereign 
" judge, from whose sentence they may not dissent, if they be 
" persuaded that it is repugnant to the Scriptures." l 

That our Church receives the decrees of the first four General 
Councils, I willingly allow; though, while I am upon the sub- 
ject, I would offer a remark on the grounds on which such a 
position may be maintained, as I am not sure that those upon 
which it is commonly placed, are sufficient. 

1 A Rational Account of the doctrine of Roman Catholics concerning the eccle- 
siastical Guide in controversies of religion by R. H. [i. e. Abraham Woodhead] 
2nd edit. 1673, pp. 174—9. 


In the Act of 1 Elizabeth, c. 1, it was provided, that judges 
ecclesiastical " shall not in anywise have authority or power to 
" order, determine, or adjudge any matter or cause to be heresie, 
" but only such as have heretofore been determined, ordered, or 
" adjudged to be heresie, by the authority of the Canonical Scrip- 
" tures, or by the first four General Councils, or any of them, 
" or by any other General Council wherein the same was declared 
" heresie by the express and plain ivords of the said Canonical 
" Scriptures ; or such as hereafter shall be ordered, judged, or 
" determined to be heresie, by the High Court of Parliament of 
" this realm, with the assent of the clergy in their Convocation." 1 
On which Hooker observes, that " the credit which those four 
" General Councils have throughout all Churches evermore had, 
" was judged by the makers of the foresaid Act, a just cause 
" wherefore they should be mentioned in that case as a requisite 
" part of the rule wherewith dominion was to be limited." 2 And 
the clause, though merely restrictive, certainly shows, that the 
decrees of the first four General Councils on the subject of heresy, 
were received by our Reformed Church ; and clearly enabled 
those to whom the Act referred, to pronounce anything to be 
heresy, which had been defined to be so by any one of those Four 
Councils. And " the ground," says Bishop Gibson, " of making 
" this limitation, was a retrospect to the times of Popery, in 
" which everything was adjudged heresie, that the Church of 
" Rome thought fit to call by that name ; how far soever in its 
" own nature from being fundamental, and how contrary soever 
" to the Gospel, and the antient doctrine of the Catholic 
"Church." 3 

But as this Act was repealed in 1640, and that part of the 
Act relating to the High Commission Court containing this 
clause, never re-enacted, this clause has, of course, no power at 
the present time. It related only to the Court of High Com- 
mission, whose proceedings were to be regulated by it. 

Still, it no doubt shows the sense of Parliament on the sub- 
ject at the pei'iod when it was enacted ; and hence it is said by 
Lord Coke, "Albeit this provisoe extendeth only to the High 

1 Gibson's Codex, p. 48 and 352. " Hooker's Eccl. Pol. Book 8. e. 2. 

3 Gibson's Codex, p. 352. 


" Commissioners ; yet seeing, in the High Commission there 
" be so many bishops and other divines and learned men, it 
" may serve for a good direction to others, especially to the 
" diocesan, being a sole judge in so weighty a cause." 1 And it 
is on that account, I suppose, that it is said in 1 Hawkins 4, 
quoted in Burn's Eccl. Law, vol. 2, Art. Heresy, that it " hath 
" been generally holden" that " these rules [i. e. those in 1 Eliz. 
" c. 1.] will be good directions to Ecclesiastical Courts in rela- 
" tion to heresy." 

There is but one other reference, as far as I am aware, in any 
public document of our Reformed Church to the early Councils, 
and that is in the Canons of 1640; in which it is said, that 
Socinianism is " a complication of many antient heresies, con- 
" demned by the first four General Councils, and contrariant to 
" the Articles of religion now established in the Church of Eng- 
" land." This reference, again, is, to a certain extent, evidence 
that the decrees of those Councils were received by our Church; 
but nothing more. And, as we have already observed, 2 the 
Canons of 1640 are of no force. 3 

It must be admitted, then, that these are but very indirect 
and inadequate authorities for any bishop or ecclesiastical court 
to act upon ; and I suspect that a safer ground in any matter of 
legal cognizance, would be the Act of 25 Hen. viii. c. 19, 
quoted above. 4 

That Act, as we have seen, allowed such canons of the 
English Church, already made, as were not repugnant to the 
laws, &c. to remain in force. Among these were the following, 
passed in the National Council of Chalchythe in 785. This 
Council was assembled by the legates of Pope Adrian, who, in 
an account of the Council sent to the Pope, give the Canons 
they proposed ; and which they say the King and all the clergy 
nobles and people, bound themselves faithfully to observe. 

The first of these is as follows, — " That the holy and inviolate 
" faith of the Nicene Council be faithfully and firmly held by 

1 3 Inst. 4. See Gibson's Codex, i. 351. 

2 See note, p. 334 above. 

3 See Gibson's Codex, and Stileingebeet's Cases. 
* See note, p. 334 above. 


" all who are devoted to the holy service ; and that every year 
" in the Synodal meetings the priests of every Church, who 
" ought to instruct the people, be very diligently examined by 
" the bishops concerning the faith, so that they may in all 
" things confess, hold, and preach the Apostolical Catholic faith 
" of the Six Synods, which is approved by the Holy Ghost, as it is 
" delivered to us by the holy Roman Church ; and if there be 
" occasion, not fear to die for it ; and that they receive all such 
" men as the holy General Councils have received, and heartily 
" reject and condemn all whom they have condemned." And in 
the fourth occurs the following passage, — " Wherefore we advise 
" that the Synodal edicts of the six General Councils, together 
" with the decrees of the Roman Pontiffs, be often read, and be 
" observed; and that the state of the Church be reformed, 
" according to their pattern ; so that nothing new be allowed to 
" be introduced by any, that there be no schism in the Church 
"of God." 1 The Synodal edicts, therefore, of what are called 
the first six General Councils, are considered to have thus become 
" the Code of the English Church;" 2 and, no doubt, such was 
the case in the times of Popery ; — and so far as their decrees 
and canons are not repugnant to the legally acknowledged doc- 
trine and laws of our Church, so far they may be considered in 
force still in the English Church. 

The decrees and canons of the first four General Councils 
were, also, made by Justinian part of the civil code; 3 and the 
Civil Law was, as is well known, received and practised to a 
considerable extent in this country. 

These four Councils are also put forward in the Common 
Canon Law, as deserving particular reverence; 4 though, of 
course, not as the only ones to be obeyed. 

1 Concil. Britann. ed. Wilkins. i. 146, 7. 

2 Johnson's Clergyman's Vade Mecum, Ft. 2. Pref. p. cxii. 

3 Thus speaks that Code, — " Saneimus igitnr vicem legum obtinere sanctaa 
Ecclesiastieas regulas quae a Sanctis quatuor Coneiliis expositse sunt aut firmatse, 
hoc est in Xicsena trecentorum decern et octo, et in Constantinopolitana sanctorum 
centum quinquaginta Patrum, et in Ephesina prima in qua Xestorius est dam- 
natus, et in Chalcedonia in qua Eutyches cum Xestorio anatheuiatizatus est. 
l'rsedictarum euim quatuor synodorum dogmata sicut sanctas Scripturas acei- 
pimus, et regulas sicut leges observamus." Justin. Xovell. 131. c. 1. 

4 Tims, in the Decree of Gratian it is said, — " Inter ca?tera autem Concilia 


And to these directions of the Common Canon Law, our own 
Lyndwood refers, in his "Provinciale," in the following words: — 
Speaking of the Council of Chalcedon, he says, — "Such General 
"Councils represent the Universal Church, which is called 
" Catholic. See 15th Dist. throughout ; where, in the chapter 
" commencing Sancta Romano, are enumerated the Councils 
" and works which are received throughout the Church. Of the 
" approved Councils, also, some remarks are made in the 16th 
" Dist. in the chapter commencing Sexta Synodus, and in a 
" manner throughout." 1 

These remarks of Lyndwood seem clearly to show, that the 
directions of the Common Canon Law respecting General Coun- 
cils were received here ; and no doubt, in matters of faith, they 
must have been considered as obligatory, on account of the 
sanction given to the Common Canon Law by the Pope. But as 
the canons of these Councils, with the exception of the first six, are 
nowhere recognised by our own domestic Canon Law, (excepting, 
perhaps, in some particulars legalized by Act of Parliament or 
custom,) they had no intrinsic authority here even before the 

The decrees and canons of the first six Councils, then, (of 
which however only the first four issued Canons) having been 
received by our own Church, are allowed by the 25 Hen. viii. 
c. 19, so far as they are not repugnant to the laws of the realm, 
which have established the Articles, Homilies, &c. as the doc- 
trine of the Church of England. 

Further, let us observe the terms in which heresy is spoken of 
in various ecclesiastical documents, affording evidence, more or 
less important, of the doctrine of our Church. 

quatuor esse scimus venerabiles Synodos quae totarn principaliter Mem complec- 
tuutur, quasi quatuor Evangelia, vel totideru Paradisi numiua;" and having 
enumerated the Xicene, Constaiitinopolitan, Ephesine, and Chalcedonian, it pro- 
ceeds, — " Hae sunt quatuor Synodi principales, fidei doctrinam pleuissime pra-di- 
cantes. Sed et si qua sunt alia Concilia qua? sancti Patres Spiritu Dei pleni 
sanxerunt, post istorum quatuor authoritatem omni manent stabilita vigore, 
quorum gestain hoc opere condita continentur." Dist. 15. c. 1. 

1 " Talia concilia generalia repraesentant universalem Ecclesiam quae dicitur 
Catholica. 15. Di. per totum, ubi in c. Sancta Romano, recitantur Concilia et 
etiam opuscula qua; admittimtur per Ecclesiam. De cunciliis quoque approbatis 
habetur 16. Di. c. Sexta Synodus et quasi per totum." Lyndw. Provinc lib. v. 
tit. 4. c. Reverendissima verb, fer ecclesiam. p. 284. ed. 1679. 

VOL. III. A \ 


In Archbishop Cranmer's "Articles to be inquired of in the 
Visitations to be had within the diocese of Canterbury" in 1547, 
the question on this matter is, " Whether any have wilfully 
" maintained and defended any heresies, errors, or false opinions 
" contrary to the faith of Christ and holy Scripture." 1 The same 
is repeated verbatim in the Visitation Articles in the first year of 
Queen Elizabeth. 2 So in Archbishop Parker's Metropolitical 
Visitation Articles a. 1567, one is, "You shall inquire of the 
" doctrine and judgment of all and singular, head and members 
" of your Church .... whether any of them do either privily or 
" openly preach or teach any unwholesome, erroneous, seditious 
" doctrine, or discourage any man from the reading of the holy 
" Scriptures soberly, for his edifying, or, &c. . . . [enumerating 
"several errors, and then concluding], or any other errors or 
" false doctrine, contrary to the faith of Christ and holy Scrip- 
" teres."* 

And so in the Service for the ordination of priests, it is asked, 
" Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and 
" drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines, contrary to 
" God's word ?" and in that for the consecration of bishops, " Be 
" you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive 
" away all erroneous and strange doctrines, contrary to God's 
" word, and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage 
" others to the same V 3 

And in the " Reformatio legum eccles." the definition of 
heresy is as follows, — " We ordain that all those are to be 
" accounted heretics, who hold any doctrine of our common 
" faith, otherwise than is determined in holy Scripture, and so 
" persist in their error, that they will not suffer themselves 
" to be driven from it." 4 

And what says one who looked at this matter merely with the 
eye of a lawyer, weighing the evidence upon which it would be 
legally determined ? " It seemeth, that among Protestants, 
" heresy is taken to be a false opinion, repugnant to some 
" point of doctrine clearly revealed in Scripture, and either 

1 Condi. Britain, ert. Wllk. iv. 25. 

2 [b. iv. 190. » Ib . ; v- 253. ■» fit. 2. c 1. 


" absolutely essential to the Christian faith, or at least of most 
" high importance." 1 

Not one word is to be found in any public document of our 
Church, intimating that Catholic Consent is the authoritative 
interpreter of Scripture, or a part of the Rule of faith ; which, 
had our Church held it to be so, must necessarily have been 
mentioned in the places quoted above. The determination of 
heresy and error, according to our Church, rests upon the 
authority of Scripture, and Scripture only. And the authorized 
guides in our Church for the interpretation of Scripture, and by 
which, of course, her members must be judged, are those above 
described; 2 among which are to be found the three Creeds, 
received because they " may be proved by most certain warrants 
of holy Scripture ;" and the first six Councils, so far as they are 
not contrary to the doctrines legally established; and of these, 
particularly the first four, on account of the recognition given 
them in the Act of 1 Eliz. c. 1 ; but none of them on the ground 
of any intrinsic authority. (Art. 21.) 

And hence these received guides are occasionally joined with 
the Scriptures as the tests of error and heresy in our Church. 
Thus, in Archbishop Parker's Metropolitical Articles of 15G9, 
the inquiry is, " Whether there be in your parishes .... any 
" suspected of heresy, or that maintain any erroneous opinions 
"contrary to the laws of Almighty God and good religion, by 
11 public authority in this realm set forth." 3 And so, in the Act 
of 1 Eliz. c. 1, and the Canons of 1640, the decrees of the first 
four General Councils are referred to as tests. And in the 
Directions to the archbishops and bishops by William III., a. 
1695, (Tenison archbishop,) it is ordered, " That no preacher 
" whatsoever in his sermon or lecture, do presume to deliver any 
" other doctrine concerning the blessed Trinity, than what is 
" contained in the holy Scriptures, and is agreeable to the three 
" Creeds and the Thirty-nine Articles of religion ;" i a direction 
which was repeated in the same words by George I. in 1714, 5 
and again in 1721. 

1 Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown, title Heresy, quoted by Burn. 

2 See pp. 332 et seq. above. 3 Concil. Britann. ed. Wilkins. iv. 259. 
* lb. iv. 623. s Ib- 666 

A A 2 


It does not appear, however, that Church -Tradition or Catholic 
Consent has ever been in any way or degree recognized by our 
Church. And the only notice taken by her of the writings of 
the Fathers (except the Creeds and the first four Councils) is 
in the requirement contained in the (unauthoritative) Canon of 
1571; the propriety of which, especially when issued, scarcely 
any one probably would call in question. 

In short, the doctrine of our Church on this point is very well 
described in a document of the early date of 1539, — which I do 
not quote as authority, because it is not known by whom it was 
drawn up, but which probably did not proceed from a common 
hand, as it is preserved in the State Paper Office, — entitled, 
" A Declaration of the faith, and a justification of the proceed- 
" ings, of King Henry the Eighth in matters of religion, or a 
" summary declaration of the faith, uses, and observations in 
" England," in which the fourth paragraph runs thus, — 
" Englishmen stvk fast to the doctrine of God in the New Testa- 
" ment, and in the Old, conformeable to the New; and do esteeme 
" that it is, Fons aquce salientis in vitam eternam ; also they do 
" accept the holy councills and doctors, where they be not con- 
" tranj, but conformeable unto the same doctrine." 1 

Hence, then, we may see the true via media held by our 
Church in this matter, between the Romanists on one hand, 
and the despisers of Antiquity on the other. 

The doctrines which we receive, we believe on the authority 
of Scripture, and Scripture only ; while we at the same time 
assert, that, from the records of Antiquity which remain to us, 
we have every reason to suppose, that these were the doctrines 
of the Primitive Orthodox Church. And we maintain, further, 
that a doctrine, though professedly derived from Scripture, pre- 
tending to be vitally important, which can find no support in 
the records that remain to us of the Orthodox Primitive Church, 
is open to very strong suspicion. Nay more, considering the 
extent and nature of the writings that remain to us of the first 
four or five centuries, we may safely maintain, (and it is a useful 
practical check upon novel extravagances to maintain, with the 
Canon of 1571,) that no doctrine ought to be admitted as an 
Sec Collier's Keel. Hist. vol. ii. Records, No. -17. 


important doctrine of religion, that cannot find some support in 
the writings of the Catholic Fathers of the first five centuries. 
But this is maintained (as we have already observed) not on any- 
theoretical view of the impossibility of these writings neglecting 
to set forth any important doctrine, or being worded so as to 
appear to countenance any error, but as a practical direction 
arising from an inspection of them, and a belief that the orthodox 
faith is to be found in them : as it is expressed by Dr. Water- 
land, in a passage already quoted : — " The Protestants," he says, 
M having well studied the Fathers, were now willing to rest their 
" cause not upon Scripture only, but Fathers too." l And 
the same view is taken in other passages, which we shall quote 
presently. 2 

In arguing, then, with opponents of our Church on funda- 
mental points, in the explanation of which we differ, after having 
pressed them with arguments derived from Scripture, our only 
authority and Rule of faith, we add confirmations of our views 
from the records of the Primitive Church ; offering them to the 
Romanists as, upon their own principles, conclusive in our favor, 
and to others, as arguments in support of them, of a very strong 

To the Romanists, when they accuse us of paying no regard 
to Antiquity, we say, — Show us any vital doctrine established by 
even probable consent of the Primitive Church which we do not 
receive, or any which we do receive, unsupported by the records 
of that Church. Our creed is precisely that of the Primitive 
Church, as far as it can be ascertained. True, we take it from 
the Scriptures, and rest it upon the authority of the Scriptures 
only, but we look with great respect to the records of the Primi- 
tive Church, and value highly their confirmation of our views ; 
and we think it a good argument against various doctrines of 
yours, that they are utterly destitute of support in the records 
of the Primitive Church ; and in the conviction that they are al- 
together destitute of Scripture-proof, and many of them opposed 
to Scripture, we at once reject them ; all of them as having no 
sufficient authority to rest upon, and some as anti-christian. 

Moreover, the same ground is taken by our Church (as the 
1 See above, vol. i. p. 215. - Bee pp. 359, 3G0 below. 



preceding extracts show) with respect to the fundamentals of 
practice ; on which point we have already had occasion to make 
some remarks, 1 and therefore add nothing here. 

To those sectaries who may suspect us of putting forward the 
statements of Fathers and early Councils as part of the divine 
Rule of faith or practice, because we profess to agree with them, 
and point to them in confirmation of the truth of our doctrines 
and the propriety of some of our observances, we reply, — We 
do no such thing j Scripture is with us the sole and complete 
authoritative Rule of faith, and sole divine Rule of practice ; we 
receive even the antient Creeds only because they may be " proved 
by most certain warrants of holy Scripture ;" we regard the tes- 
timony of Fathers and early Councils only as a confirmation of 
the truth of our doctrines, or the propriety of our observances, 
though obviously a very important confirmation ; and we affirm, 
that any doctrine, though professedly derived from Scripture, 
pretending to be a vital point, which can get no confirmation 
from the writings of the Primitive Church, is open to very strong 
suspicion ; and further, (considering the nature and extent of 
the writings of the first four or five centuries,) we hold practi- 
cally, that any doctrine which has no support in them is not to 
be admitted as a vital point. 

We are, therefore, attacked by the one party for not admitting 
the authority of the Primitive Church as supreme, and by the 
other for paying it any respect at all. 

When, therefore, in reasoning with the Romanists, our divines 
may seem to refer to the testimony of Antiquity as settling the 
point in dispute with authority and beyond appeal, so far as 
that testimony appears to be used as an authoritative argument, 
and one that binds the conscience, and demands faith, so far is the 
argument an argumentum ad hominem; it is meeting the Romanist 
on his own principles, and fighting the battle with him on ground 
chosen by himself; and, considering the strength of the Pro- 
testant cause, it is ground which may be occupied without 

To show that I am not speaking without authority when I 
sav this, I will give some quotations from works written by our 

1 See above, vol. ii. pp. 201—205. 


divines when engaged in such a controversy, to prove the truth 
of it. 

Thus speaks one of the writers to whom Bishop Gibson has 
assigned a place in his great work against Popery. " Though 
" the Scripture be our only Rule of faith and doctrine necessary 
" to be believed by us, because »we know of no other revelation 
" but that, and nothing but revelation makes any doctrine neces- 
" sary to be believed, yet we are very willing to take the sense 
" and meaning of Scripture both from itself and from the Pri- 
" mitive Church too." . . . . " Here is a very large scope offered 
" to me, and what has taken up a great many volumes on both 
" sides ; so that to most people Scripture one would think should 
" be a shorter and an easier, and therefore a better, way to knovj 
"the true Church by ; but since our adversaries are not 
" willing to leave tue cause to that, we are ready to accept 
" of the Primitive Church to be judge between us ; and as has 
" been often offered before by Bishop Jewel and others, we shall 
" be very willing to stand to its award aud decision. For, how- 
" ever some few divines of the Reformation, before they were so 
" well acquainted with Antiquity, and when they could not so 
" well distinguish what was genuine from what was spurious 
" and corrupted by your Church, were, at first especially, more 
" jealous and distrustful than they need to have been of it, and 
" unwilling to venture their cause to any other sentence but that 
" of Scripture, which had so plainly decided for them, and was 


" greatest number and the most learned of the Protestant writers 
" have never declined the judgment of the Primitive Church, 
" but next to the inspired writings of the Apostles have always 
" esteemed and been willing to be determined by it. And we are 
" well assured that the Antient Church, even the Roman itself, 
" as well as the whole Christian besides, is, in all material points, 
" on the Protestant side." — " When we produce Scripture against 
" our adversaries, we then produce the only authentic records of the 
" Apostolic Church, and the only certain account we have of the 
"faith and doctrine of the most Primitive Church. Let them 
" object therefore never so much against Scripture as a Rule of 
" faith, yet whilst it contains the only sure testimony of 


" what was taught and believed by the first Christian Church, 
" so far as any of these doctrines are not in Scripture, so far they 
" cannot appear to be the doctrine of the Apostolic Church ; 
" and whilst we hold all that faith and all those doctrines that 
" are contained in Scripture, we hold all that can be known to 
" be so in the most pure and most primitive Church ; and what- 
" soever they have added to Scripture, which they will needs 
" have to be but an imperfect Rule of faith, they have added, so 
" far as can be known, to the doctrine of the Apostolic Church. 
" For if Scripture be not the only rule of that [i.e. the doctrine 
" of the Apostolic Church], yet it is the only historical account 
" we have of it." l 

And so Bishop Stillingfleet, in his examination of the Council 
of Trent, says, — " The utmost use I can suppose, then, Vin- 
" centius his rules can be of to us now is in that case which he 
" puts when corruptions and errors have had time to take root 
" and fasten themselves, and that is, By an appeal to Scripture 
" and antient Councils. But because of the charge of inno- 
" vation against us, we are content to be tried by his second 
" rule, by the consent of the Fathers of greatest reputation," &c. 2 

And thus is the same sentiment briefly and pithily expressed 
by Dr. Sherman, in a work which has the high recommendation 
of Bishop Hall affixed to it. His Roman Catholic adversary 
says, — " Your doctors would fain dispute out of Scripture only/' 
To which Dr. S. replies, — " If only be taken in order to the 
" ultimate resolution of faith, we would indeed dispute out of 
" Scripture only, because the principles of Scripture are only to 
" us infallible, but if only be taken exclusively to all use of the 
" Fathers, we deny it. To show that our doctrine is truly divine, 
" we prove it out of Scripture : to show that it is not new, we 
" compare it with the sayings of the Fathers ; yea, the judgment 
" of the Fathers hath itself to faith as a rational disposition, but 
" not as an inerrable determination ; this privilege we reserve to 
" Scripture, which is to us the formal object and ground of 
'< divine faith." 3 

1 Bellarmine's Xotes of the Church examined, &c. hy Dr. Sheelock and 
others, in Bishop Gibson's Preservative, tit. iii. e. 2. ]>p. 104—7. 
- Bp. Stillixgfleet's Council ofTrent examined, &c. p. 24. 
3 Account of faith. &c. by J. S [hermanj. 1GG1. pp. G33, 4 


Other similar testimonies may be had in abundance. 

To sum up all, then, in a few words, the position taken by 
the Church of England with respect to the use to be made of 
the writings of the Fathers appears to be this. 

1. That the absence of any testimony in favor of a point 
proposed as vitally important, in the writings that remain to us 
of the Catholic Fathers of the first five or six centuries, (for here 
we must take a somewhat lengthened period on account of the 
paucity of the remains of the earliest Church,) is in itself, and 
ought to be to all men, whatever their views may be, a very strong 
argument against it; and, on the contrary, that very general tes- 
timony in favor of any vitally important point in those writings, 
(always including here those of the first two or three centimes,) 
is a very strong argument in favor of it. 

Further 2. Our Church, holding that all vitally important 
points are, in fact, contained and expressed in the writings of 
those who are called the catholic doctors of the first few cen- 
turies, has warned her ministers not to bring forward anything 
as vitally important which does not find some support in those 
writings. 1 

And 3. Conscious that the writings of those Fathers, and the 
information we can gather from them as to the doctrines of the 
Primitive Church, preponderate beyond comparison in her favor, 
she is at all times ready to meet the Romanists, or any other 
pseudo-catholics, on their own ground, and to let the Fathers 
be judges between us. 

It remains for us to see, what countenance our Church affords 
to the notion of our possessing articles of revelation of minor 
importance not contained at all in Scripture. 

Our opponents contend, that the 6th Article speaks only of 
points necessary to salvation. But its words seem not so limited. 
It tells us, as we have just seen, that what is not read in Scrip- 
ture, nor may be proved thereby, " is not to be required of any 

1 This warning, however, it must be observed, is given only in a Canon of 
the Upper House of Convocation, of no authority. But no doubt it is agreeable 
to the spirit in which our Church and her great divines have upon the whole acted, 
and is well founded, and not without its use. 


man that it should be believed as an article of the faith." And 
the attempt to explain this away, by understanding the phrase 
" the faith " to mean only the fundamentals of the faith, and 
to maintain that there are nevertheless articles of religious belief 
to be held by us that are not in Scripture, is surely a mode of 
dealing with the Article worthy only of censure and reprobation. 
But however this may be, we have abundant other evidence. 
Thus, the first homily says, — " In holy Scripture is fully con- 
" tained what we ought to do, and what to eschew, what to be- 
" lieve, what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at 
" length." "Nowadays/' says the Apology, "the holy Scrip- 
" ture is abroad, the writings of the Apostles and Prophets 
" are in print, whereby all truth and catholic doctrine may be 
" proved, and all heresy may be disproved and confuted." 
(Pt. 1. c. 8. div. 1.) And again; "We profess .... that 
" in them [i. e. the Scriptures] be abundantly and fully com- 
" prehended all things whatsoever be needful for our health." 
(Pt. 2. c. 9. div. 1.) So Nowell's Catechism. "We are ad- 
" monished not to follow or seek for anything in religion 
" beyond what we are there [i. e. in the Scripture] taught by 
" God." " Do you affirm, then, that all things necessary to piety 
" and salvation are contained in God's written word ? A. Cer- 
" tainly, for it would be the part of intolerable impiety and 
" madness to think either that God had left an imperfect doc- 
" trine, or that men could complete what he had left imperfect." 
So that all the doctrine which " God has left " us, is contained 
in the Scriptures. And so, finally, the "Reformatio leg. eccl.;" 
— " From the Scriptures alone the doctrines of religion and 
faith ought to be made up (constare) and confirmed," (tit. 1. 
c. 6.) ; which is clearly saying, in other words, that Scripture 
is the only source of all religious truth. 

In reply to the fourth position, asserting the necessity of. 
Tradition on account of the obscurity of Scripture, even in the 
fundamental articles, we may refer to the testimonies already 
given on the second, particularly the following, — 

" The humble man may search any truth boldly in the Scrip- 
" ture, without any danger of error. And if he be ignorant, 
" he ought the more to read and to search holy Scripture to 


" bring him out of ignorance." (Horn.) " We hear God him- 
" self plainly speak to us in his most holy Scriptures, and 
" may understand by them his will and meaning J" (Apol.) Indeed, 
all the testimonies there given, directly or indirectly negative 
the position before us. We may add to them the following. 
" Although many things in Scripture be spoken in obscure 
" mysteries," says the Homily on Holy Scripture, " yet there is 
" nothing spoken under dark mysteries in one place, but the 
" self- same thing in other places is spoken more familiarly and 
" plainly, to the capacity both of learned and unlearned. And 
" those things in the Scripture that be plain to understand and 
" necessary for salvation, every man's duty is to learn them, to 
" print them in memory, and effectually to exercise them. And 
" as for the dark mysteries, to be contented to be ignorant in 
" them, until such time as it shall please God to open those 
" things unto him." 

And in direct opposition to Mr. Keble's statement, that for 
" the catholic doctrine of the most holy Trinity, as contained 
in the Niceue Creed," we are indebted to "the unwritten teach- 
ing of the first age of the Church," (see pp. 32 and 41,) the 
homily says, — " In these books [i. e. the Scriptures] we shall 
" find the Father from whom, the Son by whom, and the Holy 
" Ghost in whom, all things have their being and keeping up, 
" and these three persons to be but one God and one substance." 

And so, in the "Declaration of certain principal Articles of 
religion," published in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, and 
required to be read by " all parsons, vicars, and curates," twice 
a-year, the second Article is, " I believe, also, whatsoever is 
" contained in the holy canonical Scriptures, in the which 
" Scriptures are contained all things necessary to salvation, by 
" the which, also, all errors and heresies may sufficiently be re- 
"■ proved and convicted, and all doctrine and articles necessary to 
" salvation established." 1 

As it respects the fifth position, — that it is on the authority 
of Church-Tradition that we must rest the canon and inspiration 
of Scripture, and the genuineness of what we receive as such, — ■ 
it is sufficient to remark, that our Church gives not the smallest 

1 Concil. Britann. ed. Wilk. iv. 195. 


countenance to such a notion. If, indeed, the testimonies ad- 
duced on the former points have (as we trust they have) shown, 
that our Church does not admit the authority of Tradition, or 
what is called Catholic Consent, as binding the conscience to 
the belief of what it testifies, there needs no further proof, that 
she does not consider herself bound to accept the Scriptures as 
the word of God on that authority. The reception of these 
books by the Primitive Church is of course a necessary and in- 
dispensable part of the testimony upon which our reception of 
them depends ; but that, not on the ground of any authority in 
the witness so borne, such that it should of itself bind us to 
belief in what it delivers, but because, had they doubted the 
claims of any book to be inserted in the canon, the historical 
evidence in its favor would have been imperfect and insufficient. 
And hence it was, that our Church rejected from the Canon 
several books which had been admitted into it by the Church of 

The doctrine of our Church upon this point, however, will 
more fully appear in the testimonies which I am about to quote 
respecting the whole subject from the writings of some of her 
most eminent divines ; to which I now proceed. And the first 
we have to notice is that of 

Bishop Jewel. 

To find the name of this venerable Prelate and champion of 
Protestantism, called by Hooker, "the worthiest divine that 
" Christendom hath bred for the space of some hundreds of 
" years," l so made use of as it has been in Mr. Keble's " Ca- 
tena," is not a little painful. The passages already quoted 
from the " Apology of the Church of^ngland," written by 
him, make any further reference to his works almost needless ; 
but it may have its use to those who are unacquainted with his 

The testimony quoted from him by Mr. Keble, is of course 

his famous challenge to the Romanists, calling upon them to 

point out any passage in any author of the first six centuries 

who supported their views and customs on certain points, and 

1 Hooker's Eccl. Pol. ii. 6. 


he would yield the question. For this, and this alone, Mr. Keble 
quotes him as a defender of his system ! He must be driven to 
great straits to find witnesses to give his system a character. If 
he had only read to the end of the sermon from which he has 
quoted this challenge, he would have seen, that his witness 
altogether fails him. For at the close of the sermon, after 
quoting some passages from Ambrose, Cyprian, and Tertullian, 
directing us to the holy Scriptures as our guide and Rule of 
faith, he adds, — " that our adversaries, and all they that stand 
" in defence of the masse this day, would content themselves to 
" be judged by this rule ! O that, in all the controversies 


" judgment unto God's word ! So should we soon agree and 
" join together. So should we deliver nothing unto the people but 
" that we have received at God's hand." And in his correspond- 
ence with Dr. Cole respecting this very challenge, at the close 
of his last letter he says, — " Master Doctor, let us lay aside 
" all self-will and contention, and have recourse only unto the 
" truth that God hath revealed to us in his holy word. For thereby 
" shall ye be able to know whether the Church do right or no. 
" And thereby shall ye be able to reform her if she happen to 

" do amiss Thus Christ reformed the errors of the Church 

" in his time, brought in by the Scribes and Pharisees, and said 
" unto them, Scriptum est ... . [and then, after having quoted 
" some passages from the Fathers as before, he adds] To con- 
" elude, like as the errors of the clock be revealed by the 
" constant course of the sun, even so the errors of the Church 
" are revealed by the everlasting and infallible word of God." l 

These passages clearly show, that he had no intention, when 
making his challenge, of setting up the authority of the Fathers 
as any part of the Rule of faith or supreme Judge of controver- 
sies. But when the Romanists boasted of their Antiquity, to 
drive them even from this plea, he challenges them to produce 
any proof of it ; and to show the certainty of his conviction that 
they could not do so, he offers to yield the cause to them, if they 
were able to do so. 

We will not, however, dismiss so able and venerable a witness 

1 JEWEL'S Works, ed. 1G09. p. 44. 


so hastily, especially as lie has elsewhere still more plainly and 
forcibly expressed his views on the points under discussion, as 
we will now proceed to show. 

As it respects, then, the first three of the positions maintained 
by the Tractators, the following statements are, I suppose, suffi- 
ciently decisive. 

" What shall a godly-disposed simple man do ? How shall 
" he settle himself ? To which side may he safely join himself? 
" If he make reckoning of learning, there are learned men on 
" both sides ; if he make reckoning of virtue and godly life, 
" there be virtuous men and of godly life on both sides ; if he 
" make reckoning of zeal, either side is zealous in the religion 
" they hold ; if he make reckoning of the name of the Church, 
" they take it as well to the one side as to the other ; if he make 
" reckoning of the multitude, there are many on either side, 
" but neither side hath so many as hath the Turk. Whither, 
" then, may a man turn himself, and to which side may he safely 
" join ? In this case we find the comfort and profit oi the word 
" of God. In this case St. Paul telleth us, f Whatsoever things 
" are written aforetime are written for our learning,' to lighten 

" our eyes, to resolve our doubts, and to guide our feet 

" With this word Christ confounded the Scribes and Pharisees, 

" and put them to silence This word confounded the 

" Arians and all sorts of heretics. What is become of Marcion, 
" of Nestorius ? .... they are blown away as smoke before the 
" wind, the word of God hath confounded them, and beat them 
" away. As Dagon fell, and broke his hands and neck, and 
" could not stand in the presence of the ark of the Lord, even 
" so shall all falsehood fall and hide itself in the presence of the 
" truth of God. As the rod of Moses devoured the rods of the 
" charmers, as the beams of the sun drive away and consume 

" darkness, so shall the word of God chase away errors 

" They [i. e. " the Scriptures"] bring us to God ; teach us the 
" truth, and give us reason of all things ; they keep us in safety, 
" suffer not wolves to devour us, keep off heretics, bewray a 

" thief, and make known who is Antichrist And as the 

" word of God is the light to direct us, and to bewray errors, so 
" is it also the standard and beam to try the weights of truth 


" and falsehood The master of the ship, when he is on 

" the main sea, casteth his eye always upon the load star, and 
" so directeth and guideth his ways. Even so must we, which 
" are passengers and strangers in this world, ever settle our 
" eyes to behold the word of God. So shall no tempest over- 
" blow us, so shall we be guided without danger, so shall we 
" safely arrive in the haven of our rest .... This is the rule of 
" our faith; without this our faith is but a fantasie, and no faith, 
" for faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 
" Therefore Christ saith, ' Search the Scriptures, they are they 
" that testify of me/ There shall ye find testimony of my 
" doctrine, there shall ye know what is the will of my heavenly 
" Father, and there shall you receive the comfort for everlasting 
" life." 1 

" Forasmuch as it cannot be doubted among Christian men, 
" that Christ and his Apostles appointed the Church in their 
" time in such sort as no better could be devised, let us com- 
** pare the Church of late time and that original ; as the use is, 
" in trying of measures, where in trial whether is true or false, 
" ye have evermore recourse to the standard ; for if there be any 
" fault, whatsoever it be, the standard will bewray it. This 

" order Christ himself used with the priests andpharisees 

" By this standard Christ reproved the Sadducees ; ' You err, 
" not knowing the Scriptures/ And by the same he confuted 
" the devil when he came to tempt him ; ' It is written/ This 
" standard shall be able to warrant us, if we can say truly, ' It 
" is written/ For as the learned Father Irenseus saith, ' The 
" Scripture is the pillar and foundation of our faith/ 7/ is rash- 
" ness to believe without the warrant or direction of the Scriptures. 
" It is not devotion nor Catholic faith, but foolish rashness." '~ 

" When Paul came to Berea from Thessalonica, and began 
" there to preach the gospel of Christ, the people ran to their 
u books, searched the Scriptures, conferred his doctrine with 
" the word of God, and when they found that in all points it 
" agreed therewith, then they believed Paul, then they embraced 
" his doctrine, then with willing hearts they clave to his disci- 

1 Treatise of the Holy Scriptures, pp. 32—31, in his Works. 

2 Sermons, p. 173. 


" pline. And as they did, even so let us do, good brethren ; let us 
" not judge rashly t»f God's ministers, let us not over hastily 
" give sentence of them ; let us not report evil of God's servants : 
" but let us well weigh and consider what thing they teach us; 
" let us examine and try their doctrine with the touchstone of God's 
" word; let us confer their preaching, their teaching, their disci- 
" pline, with the Scriptures of the Holy Ghost. And this when 
" you have done, then be you our judges ; then if you see that 
" we teach you nothing but the mysteries of God, if you per- 
" ceive that we only disclose unto you the will of God, if you 
" see that we preach unto you none other thing than the secrets 
" of God's gospel, esteem us to be the servants of God, the 
" ministers of Christ, and stewards of the secrets of God." l 

" ' Try all things.' God hath given you the spirit of discre- 
" tion and of judgment. Be wise, and know what is that good 
" and acceptable will of God. Be not deceived with words of 

" man's wisdom Thus are the people of God called to try 

" the truth, to judge between good and ill, between light and 
" darkness. God hath made them the promise of his Spirit, and 
" hath left unto them his word. They of Berea, when they heard 
" the preaching of Paul, searched the Scriptures daily, whether 
" those things were so as he taught them, and many of them 
" believed. So do you : give heed to instruction, and yet receive 
" not all things without proof and trial, that they are not contrary 
" to the wholesome doctrine of the word of God." 3 

Such is the testimony of one who is put forward to us as 
maintaining the doctrine, "that the unanimous witness of 
" Christendom is the only and the fully sufficient and the really 
" existing guarantee of the whole revealed faith ; that Catholicity 
" is the only test of truth. 5 ' 3 

Of the Fathers he speaks thus ; — 

" You know, right well, we despise not the authority of the 
" holy Fathers, but rather, in this self-same place, have alleged 
" together S. Augustine, S. Hierome, and S. Ambrose, three of 
" the most antient and approved Fathcis; and throughout the 
" whole discourse of this Apology in the defence of the Catholic 

1 Sermons, p. 22G. " On 1 Thess. v. 21. p. 102. 

* Keble's Catena Patrum, (Tract 78) p. 2. 


" truth o/our religion, next unto God's holy word, have used no 
" proof or authority so much as the expositions and judgments 
" of the holy Fathers. We despise them not, therefore ; but 
" rather give God thanks iu their behalf, for that it hath pleased 

" him to provide so worthy instruments for his Church 

ic To come near the matter, we say not that all cases of doubt 
" are, by manifest and open words, plainly expressed in the 
" Scriptures. For so there should need no exposition. But, we 
' say, there is no case in religion so dark and doubtful, but it may 
" necessarily be either proved or reproved by collection and con- 

" ference of the So'iptures In this conference and judg- 

" ment of the holy Scriptures, we need oftentimes the discretion 
" and wisdom of learned Fathers. But, notwithstanding, may 
" we not give them herein greater credit than is convenient ; or 
" than they themselves, if it were offered, would receive. We 
" may reverently say of them, as Seneca in the like case some- 
" time said, ' They are our leaders, but not our lords.' They are 
" not the truth of God itself, but only witnesses unto the truth. 
" . . . . St. Augustine saith, f Solis canouicis Scripturis sine ulla 
" recusatione consensum debeo.' ' I owe my consent without 
" gainsaying (not unto the doctors or fathers, but) only unto 
" the canonical Scriptures.' But the bishops in those Councils, 
" saith M. Harding, brought forth and followed the expositions 
" of the antient learned Fathers. And wherefore might they 
" not ? What man ever taught or said the contrary ? Yet not- 
" withstanding they alleged them not as the foundations or grounds, 
" but only as approved and faithful witnesses of the truth. St. 
" Augustine in another case concerning the Arians .... likewise 
" refuseth the determinations of all Councils and Fathers, and 
" standeth only to the Scriptures; Neither will I, saith he, 
" allege against thee the Council of Nice ; nor shalt thou allege 
" against me the Council of Ariminum, &c. Neither doth S. 
" Augustine only say thus ; but also yieldeth a reason why he 
" saith it. These be his words. ' Have away all those authorities 
" that either of us allegeth against the other ; saving only such 
" as be taken out of the heavenly canonical Scriptures. But 
" perhaps some man will ask me, Wherefore would ye have all 
" such other authorities put away ? I answer, Because I would 

VOL. III. 15 I) 


" have the holy Church to be proved, not by the doctrines of 
" men, but by the word of God.' .... Fain would M. Harding 
" have his reader believe [so similar were his tactics to those of 
" the Tractators] that toe utterly despise all holy Fathers. But 
" we despise them not, M. Harding, as may partly appear by 
" that we have already said. We read their works, we reverence 
" them, we give God thanks for them ; we call them the pillars, 
" the lights, the fathers of God's Church ; we despise them not. 
" This thiug only we say, Were their learning and holiness 
" never so great, yet be they not equal in credit with the Scrip- 

" tures of God As the Scriptures were written by the 

" Spirit of God, so must they be expounded by the same. For 
" without that Spirit we have neither ears to hear, nor eyes to 
" see. It is that Spirit that openeth, and no man shutteth ; the 
" same shutteth, and no man openeth. The same Spirit pre- 
" pared and opened the silkwoman's heart, that she should give 
" ear to and consider the things that were spoken by S. Paul. 
" And in respect of this Spirit, the Prophet Esay saith, 
" ' They shall be all taught of God/ But God hath not bound 
" himself that this Spirit should evermore dwell in Home, 
" but upon the lowly and humble-hearted that trembleth at the word 

" of God Whereas ive make reasonable request that God 

" may be umpire in his own cause, and that all our controversies 
" may be judged and tried by the holy Scriptures, M. Harding 
" thereto answereth thus, the Scripture standeth not in the words, 
" but in the sense ; and the same sense is continued by tradition in 
" the Church. Otherwise he saith, the Jews, the Arians, the Nes- 
" torians, the Eutychians, and all other heretics, were always able 

" to claim by the Scriptures Notwithstanding Pharisees and 

" heretics wickedly misalleged the Scriptures, as ye sometimes 
" do, to serve your purpose, yet for all that, Christ said unto them, 
" ' Search the Scriptures.' And, as it is said before, the Catholic 
" learned Fathers, in all their cases and controversies, appealed 

" evermore to the Scriptures To conclude, whereas M. 

" Harding saith, we cannot understand the Scriptures 
" without tradition, [the very words of the Tractators] the 
" antient Father saith, this is one special mark 
" whereby we may know an heretic." * 

1 Defence of Apology, pp. 53 — 69. 


"But what say we of the Fathers, Augustine, Ambrose, 
f< Hierome, Cyprian, &c. ? What shall we think of them ; or 
** what account may we make of them ? They be interpreters 
" of the word of God. They were learned men, and learned 
" Fathers ; the instruments of the mercy of God ; and vessels 
" full of grace. We despise them not, we read them, we re- 
<( verence them, and give thanks unto God for them. They 
*' were witnesses unto the truth ; they were worthy pillars and 
u ornaments in the Church of God. Yet may they not be com- 
" pared with the word of God. We may not build upon them ; 
" we may not make them the foundation and warrant of our con- 
" science, — we may not put our trust in them. Our trust is in 
" the name of the Lord. And thus are we taught to esteem of 
" the learned Fathers of the Church, by their own judgment ; 
" by that which they have written, either for the credit of their 
" own doings, or of the authority which they have thought due 
" to the writings of others." 1 

" But they say, the Scriptures be dark, therefore we must 
" seek the meaning of them in the doctors. The doctors agree 
" not. Then must we weigh and try them by the Master of the 
" Sentences. The Master of the Sentences himself sometimes 
" is not holden. Then must we seek further to the school- 
" doctors. The school-doctors can in no wise agree. There 
" is Scotus against Thomas, and Occam against Scotus, and 
" Alliacensis against Occam ; the nominals against the reals, 
" the scholasticals against the canonists ; the contention is 
" greater, and the doubts darker, than ever they were before." 2 

" Saint Hierome (contra Luciferianos) saith, ( Nomine uni- 
" tatis et fidei infidelitas scripta est ; ' ' infidelity hath been 
" written under the name of faith and unity.' For herein they 
" thought themselves good, and holy, and catholic, if they 
" departed not from the unity of the world. Therefore they 
" followed the general consent of others, — they thought them- 
" selves, saith he, the true Church, and seemed to follow unity ; 
11 though, indeed, they fell to infidelity. ' Whatsoever is not of 
" faith, is sin ; ' whatsoever it be, be it never so holy, never so 

1 Treat, of the Holy Script, p. 36. 

2 Reply to Harding's Answer, p. 193. 

B B 2 


" glorious, it is sin ; it displeaseth God ; the end thereof is 
" destruction. Therefore Christ saith, ' I am the light of the 
" world ; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but 
" shall have the light of life.' .... Tlie will of the Lord 

" is the only measure whereby all truth must be tried Leave 

" the pretence of zeal, leave the devotion of your own heart, 
" rest not upon the will of your forefathers, nor of flesh and 
" blood. Learn to feel and taste the will of God ; it is good, 
" and gracious, and merciful ; thereby direct your steps, therein 
e< shall you find the possession of life." 1 

And in defence of that passage in the Apology, in which he 
says, "Thus did the holy Fathers always fight against the here- 
tics with none other force than with the holy Scriptures ; " to 
which Harding (like the Tractators) objects, that, in the early 
Councils, the points in dispute were determined by an appeal to 
the exposition of the holy Fathers, particularly at Nice, (our 
opponents' favorite reference) ; and that it was the heretics 
only who resorted to the sole authority of the Scriptures; Bishop 
Jewel remarks, " Touching the Arians, that they alleged certain 
" doubtful and dark places of the Scriptures to serve their 
" purpose, it is certain and manifest. But that either they 
" despised, or that the Catholics against them avouched, the 
" exposition and authority of any Father, M. Harding's only 
" word must be our warrant. For neither allegeth he any one 
"author for proof hereof; nor yet nameth any of all these 
" Fathers. Notwithstanding, let us grant these heretics cried 
" out, as M. Harding saith, Scriptures, Scriptures. Even so 
" did the same heretics likewise cry out, even as now M. 
" Harding doth, Fathers, Fathers . . [and then adducing 
" several instances of such appeals, he adds] . . I doubt not, 
" M. Harding, but you may hereby easily see, that the heretics 
" ye speak of, cried not only, Scriptures, Scriptures, as ye say, 
te but had leisure, also, sometimes to cry, as you do, Fathers, 
" Fathers. Touching this word Homousius, which M. Harding 
" here moveth, and the whole contention of the Arians, Epi- 
" phanius writeth thus, ' This word, substance, plainly and 
" nakedly, is not found, neither in the Old, nor in the New 

rmonB, pp. 212 — 13. 


Cf Testament ; but the sense and meaning of that word is found 

" everyvjhere Now let us see whether the bishops and 

" others in these Councils confuted these heretics, as we say, 
" by the Scriptures; or else, as M. Harding seemeth to say, for 
" leant or weakness of the Scriptures used therein the authority of 
11 the Fathers . . . [and then having adduced several passages 
<e to show that it was by the authority of the Scriptures only that 
" such matters were decided, he adds,] But the bishops in those 
" Councils, saith M. Harding, brought forth and followed the 
" expositions of the antient learned Fathers. And wherefore 
" might they not ? What man ever taught or said the con- 
" trary ? Yet notwithstanding they alleged them, not as the 
" foundations or grounds, but only as approved and faithful icit- 
" nesses of the truth." l 

And again, in another part, he says, that the antient heretics, 
" in defence of their errors, avouched the judgment of all the 
" old bishops and doctors that had been before them, and the 
" general consent of the primitive and whole universal Church." 2 

And before I conclude the extracts on this head, I would call 
the reader's attention to a passage touching the degree of autho- 
rity due to the customs in force in the Primitive Church, and 
beg him to observe how differently Bishop Jewel spoke of it, 
from what the Tractators do. The bishop's view clearly is, that 
all that is of divine authority and perpetual obligation, is to be 
found in the Scriptures ; and that as to other rites and customs, 
even though they might claim an Apostle for their author, they 
were not binding upon the Church in all ages, but might vary 
with circumstances. 

" "Where ye grant," he says to Dr. Cole, ' ' that ye of your side 
" have varied, and do yet vary, from the customs of the Primi- 
" tive Church, I cannot but commend your plainness therein, 
" in telling the truth. But where, then, is your Antiquity be- 
" come ? . . . But ye say, further, that the examples of the 
" apostles and doctors bind you not. ... Ye conclude that it 
" were an error to say we are bound, of necessity, to follow the 
" use of the Primitive Church. To make you a full and a clear 
" answer hereunto, I must needs use this distinction. There 

1 Dcf. of ApoL pp. 5i— 56. - II'. p. 509. 


" were some orders in the Primitive Church commanded by 
" God ; and some other were devised by men for the better 
" training of the people. Such orders as were commanded by 
" God, may not be changed in any case, only because God com- 
" manded them. For as God is everlasting, so is his word and 
" commandment everlasting. Of the other side, such orders 
" as have been devised by men, may be broken upon some good 
" consideration, only because they were men that devised them ; 
" for as men themselves be mortal, so all their wisdoms and 
" inventions be but mortal. As, that the communion should 
" be used in the morning or at night ; that women should 
" come to the Church either covered or openfaced, wherein ye 
" say S. Peter took order, that the ministers' goods should be 
" all in common, or otherwise, &c. These, and other like, were 
" things appointed and ordered by men, and therefore were 
" never used in all places of one sort ; but as they were brought 
" in by men, so might they be dissolved aDd broken by men. 
" In these things, I grant, the examples of the doctors or 
" apostles bind us not. . . . But of the other part, I say that 
" such things as God hath commanded precisely by his word, 
" may never be broken by any custom or consent. And such be 
" the things that we now require at your hands . . . The cup 
" which ye have taken from the people is not a ceremony, but 
" a part of the sacrament . . . Again, to pray in such a tongue 
" as the people may understand, and thereby be edified, is 
" not a ceremony to be changed at man's pleasure, but the 
" commandment of God," &C. 1 

Further, as it respects the fourth point, viz. the alleged 
obscurity of the Scriptures, and the consequent necessity of 
Church-Tradition to interpret them, thus speaks Bishop Jewel. 
" They say, the Scriptures are hard, and above the reach of 
" the people. So said the Pelagian heretic, Julian, whom 
" S. Augustine therefore reproveth .... But God himself, and 
" the antient Fathers of the Church, said otherwise .... Some 
" things in the Scriptures are hard ; I deny it not. It is very 
" expedient that somewhat should be covered to make us more 
" diligent in reading, more desirous to understand, more fervent 

1 lb. pp. 41, 2. 


" in prayer, more willing to ask the judgment of ethers, and to 
" presume the less of our own judgment .... It is true which 
" S. Peter hath said, some things are hard to be understood. 
" But it is also true, that they which pervert them unto their 
" own destruction, are unlearned and unstable ; that is, they to 
" whom they are hard, have not their eyes opened that they may 
" see the light of the word ; or they be wicked, and . turn the 
" truth of God into lies, and abuse the Scriptures to their own 
" damnation. The owlet seeth not by the brightness of the 
"sun; not because the sunbeams are dark, but for that his 
" eyes are weak, and cannot abide so clear light ; it is, there - 
" fore, but a pretence and colour for their ignorance, and a means 
" to deceive the people more boldly with their errors, when they 
" charge the word of God with darkness and hardness .... The 
" ways of the Lord are straight, and his words plain, even unto 
" the simple. Chrysostom saith, ' All things are clear and plain 
" in the holy Scriptures ; whatsoever things there are necessary 
" for us, are also manifest.' Some things are covered, as men 
" cover precious stones and precious garments. They are 
" covered, and yet we see them. We see them, and yet they 
" are covered. Yet all things that are necessary, are plain and 
" open .... [and after quoting a passage from Theodoret, he 
" adds] Thus we see there was a time, before ignorance 
" crept into the Church, and got the upper hand, when the 
" word of God was not counted hard, and dark, and doubtful ; 
" when children, and women, and servants, and men of the 
" country, had the knowledge of God, and were able to reason 
" of the works of God. Then went it well with them ; they 
" could not easily be deceived, because they had that word 
" which bewrayeth the thief; they carried with them, like good 
" exchangers, the weights and touchstone ; and were able to 
" try coins, whether they were true or false. Such were the 
" people, such was the state of God's Church in those days." 1 
" We teach not the people to presume of knowledge, as you 
" teach them to presume of ignorance. But only we exhort 
" them, for the better satisfaction of their consciences, to read 
' ' the Scriptures, and therein to learn the goodwill of God .... 

1 Treat, of the Holy Script, pp. 43—46. 


" But ye will say, the Scriptures are hard, and above the reach 
" of the people. Eveu so said the Pelagian heretic, Julianus, 
" and therefore S. Augustine thus reproveth him for the same." 1 
"Whereas M. Harding, to withdraw the people's hearts from 
" reading, saith, the Scriptures are dark and dangerous, and no 
" man able to wade in them without a guide, S. Chrysostom 
" contrariwise, to encourage the people to read the Scriptures, 
" saith they be plain and easy ; and that the ignorant and 
" simple man, by prayer unto God, may attain the knowledge of 
" them, without any master or teacher, by himself alone." 2 

" Notwithstanding a few certain places in the holy Scriptures 
" be obscure, yet generally ' the Scriptures are a candle to 
" guide our feet;' generally, ' God's commandment is light, and 
" lighteneth the eyes ;' and therefore, generally, the word of 
" God is full of comfort .... [and then proceeding to quote 
" from Chrysostom and others, he adds] Thus, notwithstanding 
" certain clauses and sentences in the holy Scriptures be hard 
" and dark, yet by these holy Fathers' judgments, the Scrip- 
" tures generally are easy and clear .... True it is, flesh and 
" blood is not able to understand the holy will of God, without 
" special revelation. Therefore Christ gave thanks unto his 
' c Father, ' For that he had revealed his secrets unto the little 
" ones/ and likewise f opened the hearts of his disciples, that 
" they might understand the Scriptures/ Without this special 
" help and prompting of God's holy Spirit, the word of God is 
" unto the reader, be he never so wise, or well learned, as the 
" vision of a sealed book. But this revelation is not special unto 
" one or two, but general to all them that be the members of 
" Christ, and are endued with the Spirit of God." s 

It is the written word, he tells us, that convicts heretics, and 
enables us to avoid heresies. "This word confounded the 
Arians, and all sorts of heretics." i " In the Primitive Church, 
" and long after the Apostles' time, there were sundry sects 
" and sorts of heresies .... yet, that notwithstanding, the 
" antient Fathers then evermore called upon the people, and 
" exhorted them to read the Scriptures, to the intent they 

1 Def. of Apol pp. 516, 17. 2 Reply to Harding, p. 152. 

3 Reply to Harding, pp. 398, J. * Trout, of the Holy Script, p. 33. 


" might the better avoid heresies. For Irenseus, writing against 
" the heretics called Valentiniaiii, saith thus, ' All this befel 

" unto them, because they knew not the Scriptures.' 

" Likewise, saith Theophylact, ' Nothing can deceive them that 
" search the holy Scriptures ; for that is the candle whereby the 
" thief is espied/ " l 

And it convicts heretics, he says, in that very point in which 
our authors tell us we are indebted to Tradition for the orthodox 
doctrine, as we have already seen in a quotation given above ; 
and as he again states in the following, — " M. Harding saith, 
" These express words, Persona, Ingenitus, Homousios, are not 
" found in the Scriptures. So said the Arian heretics, too, as 
" well as he ; but what forceth that ? Epiphanius saith, ' This 
" very word substantia, is not plainly expressed, neither in the 
" New, nor in the Old Testament ; but the sense and meaning 
" of that word is everywhere/ " 3 

In short, his views on this point may be at once known from 
the testimony already quoted above, — " To conclude, whereas 
" M. Harding saith, we cannot understand the Scriptures without 
" tradition ; the ancient Father, Irenceus, saith, this is one special 
" mark whereby we may know an heretic." 3 

Lastly, as it respects the fifth point, that it is on the authority 
of Church-Tradition that we must receive the Scriptures, the 
following testimony may suffice. " Here M. Harding thinketh 
" to oppress us with the old heretics' ordinary question, 
" ' How know you, saith he, that the Scriptures be the Scrip- 
" tures ? How know you that the gospel of Thomas, Bartho- 
" lomew and Nicodeme are no Scriptures V Thus they labour 
" to pull all credit from the word of God, and send us only to their 
" traditions .... A man might well demand the like question of 
" M. Harding. How know you that the sun is the sun? or that 
" the moon is the moon? or how know you that the Church is 
(t the Church ; or that the congregation of the wicked is not 
"the Church? Such idle questions the old heretics, the 
" Manichees, demanded of S. Augustine. But S. Augustine 
" answered them, ' If you demand of us how we know that 
" these be the Apostles' writings, we make you this short 

1 Reply to Harding, p. 392. - Dcf. of Apol. p. 203. 3 Def. of Apol. p. 69. 


" answer ; Even so we know that our writings are of the 
" Apostles, as you know that your writings are of the heretic 
" Manichee.' " l 

Such are the statements of the esteemed prelate who is 
appealed to by Mr. Keble, as a supporter of the Tractators' 
doctrine of " Tradition." 

But, in truth, the Tractators themselves have almost spared 
us the necessity of demonstrating their error and inconsistency 
in such appeals, by having themselves, at last, turned upon the 
very man to whom they here appeal as the supporter of this 
doctrine, as one altogether opposed to their whole system. 

The first distinct intimation of the light in which the Trac- 
tators view our Reformers, was given in Mr. Froude's Remains, 
(edited by Mr. Newman,) whose wholesale abuse of the Re- 
formers, especially Jewel, having somewhat startled the Church, 
some feeble excuses were hinted on the ground of his being but 
an individual, and one accustomed to speak with freedom and 
vehemence. But as the Tractators' doctrine gained ground, 
and the impression made upon the public mind was deepened, 
it seems to have been supposed, that an advance might be made, 
and " the worthiest divine that Christendom had bred for the 
space of some hundreds of years," as the "judicious" Hooker 
called him, fairly thrown overboard. Accordingly, in a Number 
of the British Critic, there appeared an article whose express 
" object " it was "to justify the substance of those disparaging 
remarks." 3 

In this article, it is said of Jewel ; — " Bishop Jewel contrives, 
" with the help of the Fathers, to reduce to atoms nearly the 
" whole stately and well-proportioned fabric of Catholicism." 3 

" Without going into the question, whether Roman Catho- 
" licism is not at least better than such Protestantism as Bishop 
" Jewel's." 4 

The Articles of the Church of England "were certainly 
framed by persons of a thoroughly uncatholic spirit." 5 

"Ours is the humbler, as well as less pleasant task, of 

1 Def. of the Apol. p. 204. 

• Brit. Crit. for July, 1841, p. 8. 3 lb p. 6. 

4 Brit. Crit. for July, 1841. p. 13. s lb. p. 27. 


'* assailing the credit of the most active of the Elizabethan 
" Reformers." l 

"Archbishop Parker tried to force it [i. e. Jewel's Apology,] 
" and the still more objectionable ' Defence/ almost as a quasi- 
" formulary upon the Church of England." ~ 

Now this last remark, be it remembered, is made respecting 
a work which Collier, the Nonjuror, tells us was " set forth 
with the consent of the bishops f which, according to Bishop 
Randolph, "was always understood to speak the sense of the 
whole Church, in whose name it is written ;" which is quoted 
by Hooker as " The English Apology," and is recognized in 
Canon 30 of the Canons of 1603, as "The Apology of the 
Church of England." 3 

How are we to account for such extraordinary inconsistency ? 
Can it be satisfactorily explained ? To say the least, what con- 
fidence can be placed in the guidance of such teachers ? 

Erom Jewel let us pass on to "the judicious" 


The passage which Mr. Keble has quoted from him, is taken 
from his Ecclesiastical Polity, bk. 3. ch. 1 . In what way it 
bears upon the subject, I am quite at a loss to conjecture ; and, 
therefore, as the work is in every one's hands, it is unnecessary 
to do more than refer the reader to it. 

But has Hooker only spoken thus indistinctly on this subject ? 
Let us inquire. 

As it respects the first point, then, as to Tradition being a 
divine informant, his testimony is as follows ; — 

" When the question, therefore, is whether we be now to seek 
" for any revealed law of God, otherwise than only in the Sacred 
" Scripture ; whether we do now stand bound in the sight of 
" God to yield to traditions, urged by the Church of Rome, the 
" same obedience and reverence we do to his written law, honour - 
" ing equally, and adoring both as divine ; our answer is, no. 
" They that so earnestly plead for the authority of Tradition, 
" [observe, not Romish traditions in particular, but Tradition,] 

' lb. p. 32. -11'. p. 37. \ See p. 332 above. 


" as if nothing were more safely conveyed, than that which 
" spreadeth itself by report, and descendeth by relation of former 
" generations unto the ages that succeed, are not all of them — 
" surely a miracle it were, if they should be — so simple as thus to 
11 persuade themselves; howsoever, if the simple were so persuaded, 
" they could be content, perhaps, very well to enjoy the benefit, 
" as they account it, of that common error. What hazard the 
" truth is in when it passeth through the hands of report, hoiv 
" maimed and deformed it becometh, they are not, they cannot pos- 
" sibly be ignorant. Let them that are indeed of this mind, 
" consider but only that little of things divine, which the heathen 
" have in such sort received. How miserable had the state of 
" the Church of God been, long ere this, if, wanting the sacred 
" Scriptures, we had no record of his laws, but only the memory 
" of man receiving the same by report and relation from his 
" predecessors V l 

And hence, in another place, he says, — "They which add 
" traditions as a part of supernatural necessary truth, have not 
" the truth, but are in error. For they only plead that what- 
" soever God revealeth as necessary for all Christian men to do 
" or believe, the same we ought to embrace, whether we have 
" received it by writing, or otherwise ; which no man denieth : 
" when that which they should confirm, who claim so great 
" reverence unto traditions, is, that the same traditions are 
" necessarily to be acknowledged divine and holy. For we do 
" not reject them only because they are not in the Scripture, 
" but because they are neither in Scripture, nor can otherwise 
" sufficiently, by any reason, be proved to be of God. That which 
" is of God, and may be evidently proved to be so, we deny not 
" but it hath in his kind, although unwritten, yet the self-same 
" force and authority with the written laws of God/' 2 Here, 
again, he speaks not of Romish traditions in particular, but of 
traditions generally, and affirms that they cannot be proved to 
be of God. How we are to account for Mr. Newman's per- 
version of this passage (Lect. xi. p. 334), I am quite at a loss 
to understand. And so, in another place, he speaks of " uncer- 
tain Tradition.'' 3 And again : — " The word of God is his 

1 EccL Pol. bk. i. ch. 13. - Bk. i. ch. 14. 3 Bk. ii. ch. 8. Sec p. 387 below. 


" heavenly truth touching matters of eternal life revealed and 
" uttered unto men ; unto Prophets and Apostles byinimediate 
" divine inspiration, from them to us by their books and 
" writings. We therefore have no word of God but the Scrip- 
" fare." l 

Hence, when he comes to speak of the sign of the cross in 
baptism, he says, " We observe it not as the ordinance of God, 
" but of man. For, saith Tertullian, e if of this, and the like 
" customs, thou shouldest require some commandment to be 
• f showed thee out of Scriptures, there is none found;" 2 
clearly showing, that Hooker considered it only an ordinance 
of man, not of God, because it could not be " showed out of 

And having thus altogether rejected the notion of the divine 
or apostolical origin of " Tradition/' in matters both of faith